Hayes gymnast Ella Hanna Sanz didn’t even enjoy herself when she first took up a sport that has seen her become a junior world champion.

The 14-year-old didn’t exactly have love at first sight but having stood by artistic gymnastics, the venture has certainly been proven worthwhile with more targets on her mind.

That will come in the shape of the European Championships later this year but it’s the global stage this talented teen is keen to conquer.

And having already struck gold in the mixed pair competition of the Acrobatic Gymnastic World Age Group competitions, the stage is set for more honours to be bagged.

“My mum brought me to a gymnastics club at a really young age. I didn’t like it at first, but one of the coaches spotted I was doing well and supported me, then I decided to stay,” said the St Marks School student. “I worked my way through the age ranks since.

“I have loved competing in gymnastics. You get to meet so many new people and it’s always a really interesting day.

“I finished first in the World Championships, the European Championships and the British Championships, which I was really pleased with.

“I want to do well to become a role model for other young gymnasts. I want to pass on my advice and tell them to never give up.

“I want to prove that in the end, all the hard work is so worth it.”

Hanna Sanz was speaking at a SportsAid workshop being hosted by the Mayor of London’s office, which is supporting over 75 athletes from in and around the London region, at the London Stadium.

SportsAid helps the most promising young British athletes by providing them with financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities.

The haul of up-and-coming athletes, covering all the London boroughs, from more than 30 sports are receiving £1,000 awards to help with their training and competition costs as they bid to become the country’s next generation of sporting heroes.

The awards, distributed through SportsAid, will see athletes recognise their position as role models to others, and how their stories may help to increase community pride and engagement through inspiring people to take part in sport and physical activity.

SportsAid alumni Anthony Ogogo, Goldie Sayers and Leon Taylor, as well as Commonwealth gold medallist Ama Agbeze, were all on hand at the workshop to provide advice to the athletes.

And Sayers, an Olympic bronze medallist, said: “I was a recipient of the SportsAid award probably 20 years ago now and I kept the letter because it meant so much to me at the time.

“It’s the first recognition that people have seen what you’ve achieved and are supporting you along the way, so for me I like to give back to organisations that helped me in my career.

“The financial support is important but I think more than that, it’s just knowing that an organisation had recognised you as a young athlete with potential to be a senior international.”

The Mayor of London is working with SportsAid to provide financial support and personal development opportunities to talented young athletes from across the capital. Visit https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/sports/sport-unites/sportsaid to find out more.