YOUNG gymnast Joshua Binns is working to make his Olympic dream a reality.
He may only be eight, but Joshua is training like an elite athlete in his bid to become a member of the British gymnastics team.
Joshua, who is already a gold medallist, said: “My ambition is to compete in the Olympics.
“I am working hard, training every day.”
Joshua, who lives in Stoneclough and is a pupil at Prestolee Primary School, discovered the sport when he was four.
At the age of five he joined Bury Gymnastics Club, where gymnastic sensation Theo Seager still trains, and is a member of its “elite” squad.
Following his impressive performance at the Ipswich Pipers Vale Challenge — a national open and one of the two main competitions attracting elite performing clubs — he is on track to achieve his ambition.
He won the overall gold medal for his performances on six pieces of equipment after claiming gold on the pommel horse, gold on the parallel bars, bronze on the rings and bronze on vault.
Joshua said: “My favourite is the pommel horse, which is very hard, but it is a challenge.
“I train six times a week three and half hours a day. I do work hard but I enjoy it. It felt really good to get gold.”
He said he was glued to the television during the Olympics and watching Team GB put on a show-stopping performance.
Joshua, whose heroes include Daniel Purvis and Kohei Uchimura, is now working towards his first nine-year-old’s national elite grading in November 2014, which will give him a UK ranking.
Dad Martin, aged 40, said: “The top six are usually, though not always, selected to represent the British elite performance squad the following year.
“Other children training with Josh have gone through the annual British elite grading process and while Josh is currently the youngest in his eight-strong training group he looks up to other group members.”
He added: “Josh’s school teachers have given him bags of encouragement. They have kept him engaged during his school time.”
Prestolee headteacher Mike Tonge said: “We are extremely proud of Joshua and all his accomplishments.
“He is a very talented young man who has had great support from family and friends, and we wish him every success.”