THE COMMONWEALTH Games have well and truly kicked off in style in Birmingham, and Widnes has some contributions to 'Team England.'

Laura Hogg is the head coach at Finesse Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in Widnes, and she is also coaching Team England's rhythmic gymnastics squad.

Ahead of the team competing on Thursday, Laura said that the team is incredibly excited to show off what they can do.

Runcorn and Widnes World: The team includes Saffron Severn, Alice Leaper and Marfa EkimovaThe team includes Saffron Severn, Alice Leaper and Marfa Ekimova

She said: "The girls usually train 30 hours a week whilst also travelling to international competitions and national events and selections.

"The last six months have been very intense, with little time spent at home, travelling between events and various training locations, and working up to 12-hour days to ensure all the team's needs are met."

When asked about what the reception in Birmingham has been like since the team arrived, Laura, from Warrington, said: "The reception we received at the opening ceremony was very special for the girls.

"It’s their first multi-sports event, and to be part of a home Games makes it extra special."

Pride is just one of the feelings Laura has when thinking about her time as head coach - as well as feeling privileged to take the team to the Games.

Laura continued: "It's a very beautiful sport and the girls make it look very easy, however it’s lots of hours of hard work and repetition to perfect the routines.

"For young children watching on, if you enjoy dancing, performing, ballet and gymnastics come and give it a go."

"It’s a great test of your coordination, stamina, skill and flexibility," she added.