Merseyside-based artistic gymnast Daniel Purvis announced his official retirement from competing a year ago this week.

Since then, the Olympic and Commonwealth medal winner has bought his first house, been inducted into the British Gymnastics Hall of Fame and is running his own gymnastics club in Southport.

Despite winning 16 major international medals over 10 years for Team GB and Scotland, including a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, Purvis admits he still has regrets about his career.

Speaking exclusively to Merseysportlive, the 29-year-old said: “My main regret is falling off things. Making mistakes at a competition. Those are things I’ve regretted. Really frustrating things.

“I’ve missed out on medals, world medals, from taking little steps here and there.

He added: “I still get sleepless nights looking back on what could have been.”

Danny Purvis at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China

Purvis’ affinity with gymnastics began aged seven, after one of his primary school teachers had recommended it.

“My brother was a footballer and my mum and dad are both PE teachers so I was always destined for some sort of sport,” he said. “But unfortunately football didn’t really take off when I was playing for my primary school team.”

“A teacher recommended going into a gymnastics club up in Ainsdale in Southport… and that’s how I got started.”

Remarkably, over 20 years after his first visit, Purvis still attends Southport Gym Club on a regular basis – though most of his time is spent training the next generation of gymnasts.

He said: “It used to be Monday to Saturday training then Sunday off.

“Now I’m working. I’m running my own gymnastic business so I’m coaching three days a week there and then I’m also coaching at the gym club where I used to train at in Ainsdale – that’s two days a week.”

“It’s just all changed, especially in the day. I’ve got quite a bit of spare time because gymnastics is mainly evening work. I moved into my own house a couple of months ago so that’s come with a couple of challenges – trying to learn the life skills I wasn’t doing as an athlete.

He added: “Things were really done for me so now I’m standing on my own two feet.”

Although Purvis has found plenty of things to fill his time since retirement, the Crosby-born athlete admits he still misses competing.

“That’s one of the things I miss the most really. The thrill of it,” he said.

“The nerves, the pressure and everything else. I didn’t think I’d miss that, but I actually do. I miss the excitement of the build up to a competition.”

He added: “I do miss competing. Especially when I see a gymnast on TV. Obviously I’m really happy for them, and I want to see them do well, but there’s also a side to me that wishes I could still be part of that team. It’s still something I’m getting used to.”

The highlight of Purvis’ career was helping Team GB to their first men’s Olympic gymnastics medal for 100 years, as they won bronze in the artistic team all-around event.

“Having my personal coach there, Jeff Brooks, my mum and dad, my family and just the whole nation watching was just unbelievable,” he said.

“I still get goosebumps looking back at it, so that’s my highlight.”

Information on Daniel’s coaching sessions can be found here.

(Pictures from Danny Purvis social media under CC License)