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Gymnast scholar wins place at Commonwealth Games

  • Joe Fox will play for team Trinidad and Tobago
  • He joins fellow students Kadeena Cox, who will compete in the para-cycling, and 19 year old Chloe Golding, who will feature in the swimming

A Gymnast scholar is the second at MMU to qualify for this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but it’s not England he’s representing.

Joe Fox, 21, has qualified to compete at this year’s games and will play for team Trinidad and Tobago, he said in an interview with Hive Live Sport. 

Training in Salford at Manchester County of Gymnastics, Fox works alongside a mix of ages and abilities, including Jack Chamberlain, a 17-year-old gymnast in GB’s top squad.

In his second year of Human Biology, he has to balance his studies with hours of training per week.

He said: “Training depends on my timetable at uni and it can be up to either 23 hours to around 26-28 per week.”

Fox’s family live in Leeds, but he has his Dad to thank for his nationality which has helped him qualify for major competitions. 

He said: “My dad was born in Trinidad when my Grandparents were travelling. He lived out there until he was 7 and then he came back and forth from England. 

“The reason why I chose to represent Trinidad was because I have a lot more opportunities to go to these major competitions that I’ve dreamt of doing. Trinidad have given me such a great opportunity. I'm honored to compete for my country and I'm very grateful.”

Although it is possible for him to compete for Team England, the process is long and gymnasts retire in their mid-20s.

Fox said: “I’m getting on now, but it’s still quite young for a gymnast because a normal age a gymnast would retire is about 24-26.

“The only way I could compete here is if I changed my nationality in Gymnastics back to GB and then I have to wait 3 years so there’s not really any point and I'm honored to play for Trinidad."

Unsure what to do after the Commonwealth Games, Fox believes he can never give up on gymnastics after 16 years, and even plans to get rid of old stereotypes in Trinidad.

He said: “I’ve thought about going over to Trinidad for some time, create a facility, create a programme for the actual Trinidadian boys because some of boys there think gymnastics is a bit of a girl’s sport”. 

MMU has three athletes heading for gold on the Gold Coast. As well as Joe, Kadeena Cox will compete in the para-cycling and 19 year old Chloe Golding will feature in the swimming.

You can listen to the full interview with Joe Fox from Wednesday 31 January on Hive Live Sport.

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