A little girl who was born with just one full hand has her heart set on becoming a professional gymnast.
The incredible little Millie Sinnott ‘fell in love’ with gymnastics when she started classes at three years old, despite having symbrachydactyly – a congenital condition that causes abnormally short fingers.
She only has a thinly-formed thumb on her left arm, which is missing a palm and any other fingers.
But this has not stopped the seven-year-old from moving up gymnastics grades at the same pace as her able-bodied peers.
Mum Kathryn Sinnott, 27, said: ‘We didn’t know until she was born about her hand, but she never lets it stop her.
‘There’s never been any pressure on her to do more or achieve more, it’s just what she wants to do – in every aspect she just wants to do it.
‘She’s on her own way and she’s always amazed everyone. She calls it “thumby” and she’s really proud of it and makes jokes around it all the time.’
The symbrachydactyly has not stopped Millie, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, from dreaming big either.
The little girl wants to compete in the Paralympics and she thought she had a chance after she won the vault category in her club’s competition in June.
But she and her mum then discovered that gymnastics is not part of the games.
Kathryn said: ‘She was really deflated. Every seven-year-old has a dream and to have it not even be a possibility is really disheartening.
‘Millie just always wants to do it the best that she can and aim as high as she can.
The highest she can go is the Paralympics and that’s where she wants to go.’
The family have now started campaigning to make gymnastics a Paralympic sport.
They have been backed by Reach, a charity which helps children with upper-limb differences, and have contacted British Gymnastics.
Millie excels in her sport without even using a prosthetic hand.
She received her first one, to help her ride a scooter, when she was two-and-a-half years old.
When she later started gymnastics, the little girl was given a new one to help her on the bars – but she eventually decided to go without.
Kathryn said: ‘It’s taken her a long time to find out what she needed. She tried it for a little while but found it easier without it.
‘It’s such a passion of hers and she’s now constantly doing it. Even when she hurts herself, she gets up and keeps going.’
Millie experiences pain in her thumb because the muscles have to work harder and take on a great deal of extra strain.
Kathryn added: ‘Millie is very accident-prone, and she’s had a few falls. Recently she was at a summer camp, and she fell off the bars and fell on her left arm and hurt herself.
‘The hospital is very used to her though; she gets in a sling, and she’s sent home.’
Para Gymnastics Working Group and the Federation for International Gymnastics have also heard from Mille and her mum.
The campaign has even received social media support from GB Gymnasts Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova liking and following her page.
Current requirements mean every country would have to have a gymnastics team for it to qualify as a Paralympic sport.
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