Newtownabbey gymnast Amelia Cropera takes inspiration from Max Whitlock and she will be cheering him all the way to Paris as a Team GB Mini Mascot.

The 11-year-old, who attends Mossgrove Primary School, is used to performing flips and tricks as part of Generation Dance in Mallusk and hopes the experience can help her shine within the sport.

Cropera is one of six children selected to be a Team GB Mini Mascot, an extraordinary opportunity to be part of the action on Team GB’s journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“I started with doing some cartwheels and then I really fell in love with gymnastics,” she said.

“I really like Max Whitlock because he’s very determined, he’s always placing well and winning his competitions.

“I was happy when I found out about it [Mini Mascot] and got really excited. I want to go far in gymnastics and keep training, using all my effort to be the best I can be.”

Cropera’s mother Judith jumped at the once in a lifetime opportunity for her daughter to stand alongside Olympians in Team GB’s Paris 2024 kit.

“Initially I had seen the advertisement for it and thought ‘why not?’,” she said.

“I knew Amelia would be really into that but we were not really expecting her to be shortlisted.

“It was a massive shock and when I explained it to Amelia, she was so keen. We did a video together.

“Hopefully, she gets to meet people she watches and see what happens when you work really hard and what you can achieve out of that. It will be really motivational for her.”

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As part of the kitting-out day at the Olympic Park, mascots were given the surprise opportunity to meet canoe slalom world champion and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Mallory Franklin.

Franklin shared her experiences on the world stage with the budding young athletes and believes the Mini Mascot campaign can inspire a generation to get active.

“What I’ve learnt about myself and how much I’ve developed through being an athlete, I definitely want to give back and encourage kids to do that and support them on the journey if I can,” Franklin said.

“It’s amazing for them to be able to get an insight on what it is to be an Olympian and everything that goes with it.

“It’s a really exciting thing to be part of at their age as Team GB Mini Mascots.”

If you’d like to hear more about the Mini Mascots and follow their journey, head to