A PROMISING young gymnast who completed a lockdown challenge to support a leading mental health charity has raised more than ten times her initial target.

Barnard Castle School pupil Anna Metcalf, 11, has so far raised £1,065 for YoungMinds after setting herself a 10-day gymnastics challenge to keep active, as her local gymnastics club was forced to close for the third time since March 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Anna, who is from Barningham and ordinarily trains 11.5 hours a week, completed 10 different exercises each day from January 10 as part of her ‘10 Day, 10 Moves, 10 Times starting on the 10th’ initiative.

Her initial fundraising target was £100, which was quickly surpassed within a few days of designing a poster and launching the challenge on JustGiving.

Anna said: “I am very grateful to everyone for their amazing support. To smash my fundraising target so early on was a fantastic achievement, which spurred me on to complete some difficult exercises in the challenge.

“It has been frustrating not being able to train as often as I used to, so I created the challenge to help stay motivated and get back into a routine. I love gymnastics and it is a sport where you have to dedicate a lot of time and put many hours into it, and this has really helped me maintain a good level of fitness while practising my exercises.

“YoungMinds is an excellent charity and I chose it because our school supported its ‘#HelloYellow’ cause last October.”

Established in 1989, YoungMinds is the UK’s leading mental health charity that supports children and young people.

For further information about Anna’s challenge and to donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anna-metcalf.

A video compilation of Anna’s 10 Day, 10 Moves, 10 Times starting on the 10th initiative can be viewed on the Barnard Castle School website at: https://www.barnardcastleschool.org.uk/2021/01/20/well-done-anna/.