Teenage gymnast Lawrence Godsell in bid for Commonwealth Games
TEENAGE gymnast Lawrence Godsell is desperately hoping to raise funds to keep his Commonwealth Games dream alive, after suffering horrific injuries in an accident.
Lawrence, from Warden Hill, needs to raise around £2,500 to take part in The Island Games in Bermuda, which would help him on the road to competing at Glasgow 2014.
The 16-year-old is determined to make a career as an international gymnast, despite shattering and dislocation his ankle in an accident in August 2009, and suffering from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, where stomach acid leaks into the gullet.
Now he is hoping to find sponsorship to help him compete in Bermuda, with the money covering the costs of taking part and travel.
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He said: "It will give me valuable experience of dealing with travel, staying in a games village without my family, and also competing as a senior gymnast both as a team and individual competitor.
"I have worked really hard towards these games and the Commonwealth. I juggle the demands of school and training – I train six days a week, leaving home at 7.30am, going straight to training from school, and getting home around 9pm."
Lawrence, who is an all-round gymnast and has won many competitions, was back in training just two weeks after the 2009 accident, but he continues to feel the effects of his injuries.
He said: "Many times when my ankle has ached and training hasn't gone well, I have thought about giving up, but then after a good night's sleep I go back to the gym the next day.
"I like a challenge. Gymnastics was never going to be an easy sport for me with my illness and after my accident it was harder for me to reach some of my goals, but I am still determined to reach the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
"I have lost development time due to the accident and it has taken me nearly three years to get back on track."
He added: "The hardest thing since my accident was when my coach moved to the Isle of Man, as I knew that it would be hard to find another coach since my injury was a major one.
"But after a lot of discussion with my family they agreed to move to the Isle of Man to keep my dream of becoming an international gymnast alive."
The former Chosen Hill School pupil, who still has family and friends in Warden Hill, hopes to represent the Isle of Man in Bermuda and at the Commonwealth Games.
To sponsor Lawrence, email his mum Michelle at michelle_ holland@hotmail. co.uk.