GYMNASTICS: Holly selected for Great Britain squad at Special Olympics 2015

Holly Riseborough
Holly Riseborough

Rugby College student off to Los Angeles next summer

Talented young gymnast Holly Riseborough has been selected to represent Great Britain in the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles.

Holly, 18, will be part of the country’s nine-strong artistic gymnastics squad at the World Summer Games in July.

More than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be competing in 23 sports for people with learning disabilities and will be watched by at least half a million spectators.  The event is the largest humanitarian and sporting event anywhere in the world in 2015.

A performing arts student at Warwickshire College’s Rugby centre, Holly, who has Down’s Syndrome, is delighted to have earned her place for America, but now has to raise £3,000 towards her travel and accommodation.

Held every four years, the Special Olympics will be the pinnacle of her career so far. She has already taken part in two training weekends in Runcorn and Swansea with the Great Britain squad and is looking forward to more.

 “I am really excited about going to America and meeting athletes from all over the world. It will be a great experience,” said Holly, who lives in Stretton under Fosse.

Coached by her father Peter and Viktorija Kozuchova, Holly has been a member of Coventry Olympic Gymnastic Club and Special Olympics Coventry since she was six and already has countless titles and medals to her name.

Most recently she was overall Level 3 champion at the Welsh Disability Championships in Cardiff, winning golds across all disciplines.

She also won golds at the Poole Disability Open and National Down’s Syndrome Gymnastics in Leicester.

Last year Holly had the honour of being presented with the Spirit of Gymnastics Award (Female) from the Nik Stuart Foundation and so being inducted into the Foundation’s Hall of Fame.

Her father added: “Holly works extremely hard and is a credit to her sport. She shows what can be done despite her disability and we are all very proud of her achievements.”

A member of Warwick Youth Theatres, Holly is also a dance teacher with the Embody Dance Company in Coventry and enjoys work experience at Tesco in Rugby. 

A fundraising site has been set up to support Holly and other special athletes from the city.

If you would like to donate, please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search ‘Special Olympics Coventry’.