Lola Nicholl is only 10-years old but she has just become the north coast’s elite gymnast with the news she has been selected for the Irish squad and brought into the Olympic Starter Squad in preparation for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Showing commitment and deication far beyond her years, the St. Patrick’s PS, Portrush pupil and her mum Siobhan travel in excess of 800 miles a week to help the pint sized protégé from Ballymoney achieve her dream.
Currently living in Portrush Lola and her Mum have a daily routine that would take it’s toll on most adults yet she gets rarely complains.
“Lola will get up at 7am to do her homework from the night before. She will then go to school, leave there at 3pm and be in Lisburn for 4.30pm,” explained her Mum. “She will eat her dinner in the car and then train until 8/8.30pm and we will finally get home at 10pm.
“Every weekend she sleeps above the gym. Once she gets there on a Friday for training she stays there until Sunday.”
The news of Lola’s selection has made the travel and hard work worthwhile.
“We are over the moon, it has been a hard road but we have got there,” said Siobhan.
“Lola has pushed her wee body to the limit because she has been so determined to achieve this, I couldn’t be more proud of her.
“She competed at the Nationals in Limerick and came back with a medal on the vault. This was followed by the squad trials shortly afterwards.
“If we thought it was tough before the hard work really starts now. Lola is now on the Irish team and the 2024 Olympic Starter Squad and that is monitored every year to ensure she maintains her standards.
“She gets five sessions a year with Ireland’s top coaches and gymnasts.
“She will also get the opportunity to train with British High performance coach Rochelle Douglas and this is on top of her normal six days a week training. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but Lola is so determined to succeed.”
Lola is looking for a sponsor to help with the costs of travelling to training to help her achieve her Olympic dream. If you would like to help contact her mum Siobhan at: firstname.lastname@example.org