A TALENTED Beith gymnast made her long awaited return to competition this month, and showed that she is made of tough stuff.

The Herald first reported on Emily Shearer in 2019 when the then 11-year-old landed a place at the coveted Glasgow School of Sport.

Having began her gymnastic journey in Largs at the age of four, she now trains alongside some of the nation’s best gymnasts for her age and above, including Commonwealth Games athletes, at City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club.

But it has been a tough time of late for young Emily, now 14, which began with the Covid pandemic halting regular training and competitions.

Following that she endured two sprained ankles and a broken foot, but as her mum Michelle explained: “This has not held Emily back.”

And the teenager showed exactly that as she returned to competition for the first time since the pandemic began, at the Gold Challenge Cup in Perth.

Emily received a bronze medal for her floor routine, despite her reservations about competing once more.

Michelle explained: “Emily was nervous about competing again as it had been so long with restricted training and Zoom classes to keep her fitness and flexibility.

“She is definitely getting back on track now and is working towards the Scottish Championships in February in Perth.”

Emily has experience representing her nation at the highest levels for her age group, and has placed as high as 26th in British-wide competitions.

Michelle continued: “Emily is always striving to reach her goals in gymnastics and is now preparing to upgrade her skills for any future competitions.

“Of course Emily would love to represent Scotland at a Commonwealth games one day.”

While she knows this won’t happen over night, she is already showing the dedication required to reach the top.

Her remarkable dedication sees her travel from Beith to Glasgow six days a week for her school of sport and gymnastic club training.

She also has an incredible team behind her, willing her on to make it possible.

Michelle explained: “Emily is so thankful to her coaches at City of Glasgow and her family for their continuous support, especially her dad who makes the journey every day for Emily to be able to train.”