In 2010 trampolinist Zach Sheridan saw his friend Nathan Bailey head off to Singapore for the first ever Youth Olympic Games and thought ‘that’s going to be me one day’.
Four years later and the 17-year-old is in Nanjing for his turn in the limelight after earning a spot on Team GB’s 33-strong 2014 Youth Olympic Games squad.
Sheridan earned himself a plane ticket to China after finishing fifth at April’s European Junior Championships.
It means that Sheridan will follow in the footsteps of Olga Gymnastics and Trampoline Club teammate Bailey who finished eighth at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
And Sheridan admits he has to pinch himself at just how far he has come since taking up the sport a decade ago.
“When I was younger my dad got a trampoline and I had a few bounces on it and was hooked,” he said.
“He said he would get me some lessons because I enjoyed it so much and it’s gone from there really.
“So I have my parents to thank for giving me the chance to succeed and being so supportive of me.
“And it was really nice to hear that I had been selected and made the squad.
“My friend Nathan Bailey went four years ago and when he went I said to myself that I would go and I’ve had that dream ever since.
“In my head I just said to myself that is something that I want to do. There have been other goals along the way but none as big as this.”
For Sheridan the chance to experience the buzz of an Olympic Games is something that he is relishing.
But he knows that none of it would be possible without the help of his parents.
“I started when I was five and have been working with my coach for more than ten years now,” he added.
“I started off doing small competitions and now I’m here so it’s really satisfying to see some results.
“This is a huge achievement for me and I want to use it to get experience and carry on into the international circuit.
“It’s nice to have a family that are so supportive behind me and who have given me the chance to succeed.
“When I go out there my main focus will be to make the finals and from there push on and try and win a medal.
“It will be amazing to see what an Olympics is like and to be a part of it.”
© Sportsbeat 2014