Gymnast Emily is a big hit on Instagram site

Emily Willis in action on the bars.
Emily Willis in action on the bars.

A talented young sportswoman from Lisburn has used her gymnastic skills to earn her a huge following on social media site Instagram.

Talented gymnast Emily Willis has attracted more than 127,000 followers on the photo-messaging site over the past two years, and her mum believes that gives her “the largest Northern Ireland-based Instagram account”.

The 12-year-old Laurelhill Community College pupil, whose big inspiration is former GB Olympian Beth Tweddle, is a medal-winning gymnast. And the gymnastics-inspired fun pictures and video clips posted on her @gymnast_emily10 page have proven extremely popular with people online.

Her proud mum Claire, who runs Emily’s account, said: “Her account started just over two years ago after her brother said that we should start an account so Emily’s friends could see what she got up to at the gym. It grew very quickly after several larger accounts saw her videos and began to comment on our posts. In our first year we reached 80,000 followers. We post pictures or videos at least twice a day, every day.

“Emily is frequently called an inspiration by many kids who contact her via Instagram direct messaging as they love her sense of fun but also her resilience in always getting back up after she falls. We very frequently post videos of fails, which are very popular with her followers and I am very well known for giggling along in the background of her videos. Our aim is to show that gymnastics is fun and is a sport for everyone.”

As a result of her huge following on Instagram, Emily is now an ‘ambassador’ for several gymnastics equipment suppliers and promotes their items on her page.

Emily Willis showing off some of her many medals and trophies.

Emily Willis showing off some of her many medals and trophies.