A TALENTED young trampolinist from the district has won a regional schools competition.

Alex Rees, from Stocksfield, won the Year 7-8 boys’ novice class at the North of England Regional Schools event, at Ashington Leisure Centre.

In doing so, the 12-year-old qualified for the zonal stage of a competition, which will include competitors from Northern England and Northern Ireland.

And if he excels at the zonal stage, in Belfast in January, Alex could find himself in the national final of the competition, which is organised by the British School Gymnastics Association (BSGA).

The youngster is a pupil at Ovingham Middle School, where he is an active gymnast.

Head of PE Deborah Goodwin said: “Alex is a very talented gymnast who is dedicated to working hard and improving all the time.

“We are very supportive of him and are really pleased that he’s won at regional level.”

Ovingham does not offer trampolining as part of it’s curriculum, but pupils have access to gymnastics during PE lessons, and also at lunchtime.

Mrs Goodwin said that the school does not have the ceiling height required for competitive trampolining.

However, she said that pupils such as Alex, who are committed to the sport away from school, are given the guidance and support they need to succeed.

BSGA chairman Jamie Walker said the organisation was working closely with schools to increase growth of trampolining, and gymnastics in general.

He added: “We have continued to see increased support for our gymnastics competitions and increased recognition that this physical activity has much to offer in a rounded education.”

American gymnast George Nissen invented the modern trampoline in the 1930s.

He played a key role in raising awareness of the trampolining, which finally became an Olympic sport in Sydney, in the year 2000.

Last year, Humshaugh teenager Jack Taylor scooped two national medals at the British National League Competition.