THREE Dunfermline gymnasts have been selected to represent Great Britain at an international tournament in Germany this month.

Scarlett Haldane, 17, Emma Nelson, 15, and 12-year-old Ella Gracie, who are members of Rosyth-based club Acrobay, will compete as part of Team GB at the Guttenberg Cup from October 26 to 29.

The girls’ international success over the last year, winning gold at international cups in Budapest in Hungary and Rzeszow, Poland, make them strong contenders in one of the toughest competition categories.

Club coach Maria Roche has also been picked to join the British team’s coaching staff.

Acrobay’s Head Coach Suzanne Fraser said: “Scarlett, Emma and Ella’s tireless hard work, focus and dedication shows not just in their incredible performances, but in the fact they have medalled at every competition they have ever entered as a trio.

“Recent news that the girls have also been shortlisted for Scottish Gymastics’ Gymnasts of the Year, for their dedication and achievement, is the icing on the cake.

“There’s a strong and talented support system behind every gymnast and it’s fantastic to see Maria’s creative coaching work recognised. We could not be more excited or proud.”

The gymnasts competed at a nail-biting qualifier at British Gymnastics’ HQ in Lillieshall, Newport.

Scarlett, who has been an Acrobay gymnast for nine years, described Team GB selection as “the greatest thing to happen to me in my gymnastics career”.

She trains for 19 hours a week and also works as an assistant coach. Scarlett says: “I’ve dedicated half my life to acro gymnastics because there’s so many things I love about it.

“I love the fact it’s a partnership sport and requires extreme trust and courage within your team. It’s spectacular to watch and shows what a gymnast can do without apparatus.

"And I love the atmosphere on competition days, the specially-made leotards, the music, the diversity of skills we learn, the adventure of travelling to compete and most of all making friends for life.”

Scarlett adds: “Qualifying to represent Great Britain is a dream come true, and I’m so happy I can share it with Emma and Ella.”

Emma joined Acrobay ten years ago and is thrilled her years of training helped secure the hotly contended GB spot.

Emma says: “I was nervous during the qualifier as this is my first trial for the GB team, but I took confidence knowing we deserved to be there as we’d been British champions in 11-16yrs category. I knew with all the work that we’d put into all three routines we just had to concentrate and give our best shot for a once in a career opportunity.

“I was ecstatic to be selected. I also thought a lot about the responsibility that goes with GB selection and realised that many younger gymnasts in our club and beyond might look up to us and hopefully be inspired to follow in our footsteps.

Ella trains for 20 hours at Acrobay and another six hours at home each week.

She joined the club’s after-school classes aged six and began in a competition squad, where she excelled.

Ella says: “I love everything about acro gymnastics. I’ve made lots of friends at Acrobay and love going to competitions, performing our routines and watching other gymnasts’ routines as well.

“I was nervous but also excited to Lillieshall for the qualifier. It felt great to be trialling alongside the top gymnasts and clubs from across the UK.

"It was amazing to see all the pictures and canvases of the Olympic gymnasts who have been to Lillieshall in the past.

“Hopefully this is just the start of us representing GB.”