A CHAMPION gymnast from Largs who stays just two minutes away from the town's multi-million national indoor sports centre is being forced to travel 85 MILES to train elsewhere.

Eleven-year-old Aaron Convery of St Mary's Primary is top of the Scots after winning gold at the national Gymnastics Championships in Perth recently.

But he has to make it all the way to Hamilton and back just to hone his skills - because there is no one to coach him at Inverclyde.

Aaron, of Noddleburn Road, triumphed on the pommel horse and also picked up a bronze medal in the vault, and has ambitions to perform in the Commonwealth Games in future and maybe even the Olympics.

However, after Largs lost its male coach Aaron and his family have to embark on a two and a half hour trip to South Lanarkshire five days a week.

Mum Lynne said: "There are very few male coaches in Scotland, and the coach at Inverclyde Scott Shearon took a job in Ireland.

"We couldn't find another male coach to come to Largs.

"We tried everything but they are so few and far between, and hence why Aaron now has to go through to Hamilton.

"He trains from 4-8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 12-6pm on Sunday.

"It is such a shame that we have the national sports centre lying next to us with all the equipment but we don't have the coaching for boys, although there is girls coaching.

"Largs is classed as rural, so it is difficult to get a boys coach, but it is not that far away from Glasgow."

Aaron has been involved in the sport locally since he was only three years of age, when he went to Gym Tots at Inverclyde. He joined the local gymnastics club when he was five but now faces an arduous travelling schedule in order to keep up with his tough 22-hours a week training regime.

Proud dad Michael said: "When the gymnastics folded at Inverclyde without a boys coach we started going to Hamilton five days a week, and he has been competing at various competitions, representing Scotland at the British championships at Birmingham over the last three years.

"It is almost second nature to him.

"I have built various things around the house so he can practice too including parallel bars and pommel horses.

"He puts the practice in, which is the bottom line at 22 hours a week.

"His passion started at Gym Tots - he loved the running about and tumbling and we then got him a trampoline, and he did backflips, rolls, and double flips.

"Aaron took to it quite naturally and his younger brother Daniel started going too."

Aaron has been further inspired by going up to the see the European competitions in Glasgow and couldn't wait to get his picture taken afterwards with all the athletes.

His dad told the News: "He has aspirations of appearing in the Commonwealth Games, and then perhaps the Olympics.

"He is a very calm under the spotlight and nothing particularly fazes him.