A YOUNG dancer who broke both her arms and a leg while taking part in a rock climbing activity bounced back to qualify for the Irish Dancing World Championships just months later.

Twelve-year-old Aoife O’Sullivan, of Witney, was taking part in a rock-climbing activity in Gloucestershire with The Henry Box School last summer when she sustained the serious injuries and had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance.

The injuries left Aoife and her family doubting she would ever dance again.

Then, just five months after the incident, the keen Irish dancer earned herself a place in the World Irish Dancing Championships which take place in Glasgow in March.

Aoife, who still studies at The Henry Box School, said of her achievement: “It felt amazing to qualify. It was the best day of my life.

“I felt like all my hard work had paid off. I am nervous about dancing at the worlds for the first time but also excited.”

It was in June last year when Aoife suffered the injuries during a school trip.

She was airlifted to the trauma unit of Bristol Children’s Hospital where she spent seven days recovering after having a metal plate and six screws inserted into her broken leg.

After returning home to Witney Aoife spent many months recovering before returning to school in September.

During this time, Aoife, who is passionate about Irish dance and placed fifth in the European Championships in Alicante, Spain, just three weeks before the incident, was eager to get back into dance.

She was not able to bear weight for a period of her recovery but slowly and surely worked her way back into a routine.

Then, on November 16, she competed in the Irish Dancing Southern England Regional Qualifiers in Watford where she was placed 10th in Southern England and has qualified for the World Championships in Glasgow in March.

Aoife’s mum Claire said: “Aoife really is an amazing child. After everything she has been through last year, for her to then qualify for the Worlds is a true testament to how focussed and determined she is and what great strength of character she has.

Aoife attends dance class on a Tuesday at the Masonic Lodge in Church Green, Witney, as well as classes in Swindon and London.

Her dance teacher Ian Boyd said he was stunned by Aoife’s efforts.

He said: “To qualify after a major injury like that was amazing. It was the best day in my teaching life, to have a pupil show so much grit and determination to make such a comeback 5 months after such a horrific incident was simply breath-taking.

"I am in awe of Aoife and so incredibly proud.”