Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics’ Jess Scarlett rises to the top
Norwich gymnast Jess Scarlett's recent crowning as grade eight British champion capped a remarkable year.
The 10-year-old triumphed at the national finals in Birmingham last month to take the title only 12 months after joining Attleborough's Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics (TNAG).
Scarlett, who lives in Thorpe St Andrew but trains at the Besthorpe club, finished with an overall score of 49.6 points to fend off competition from 51 hopefuls based all over the country.
Ecstatic mum Julia is understandably delighted at her daughter's achievement.
'Words cannot really describe how proud we are of her,' she said. 'The tournament was much different to anything she has taken part in before but she seemed to enjoy it and take it all in her stride.
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'At local competitions all the fans tend to cheer for every competitor, but at such a big event as the British Championships there are sections of the crowd routing for each participant. It was different for everyone but Jess seemed the most calm out of all of us.'
Calmness under pressure is a key skill of any successful sports star, and is something the coaches at the academy focus on heavily.
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'TNAG and its coaches have been fantastic for Jess,' added Julia. 'We always recognised her potential, but before she went to the academy there were often a few blips during each routine. Her main tutor Sarah-Jane Inglis has worked with Jess to iron out those issues and she has benefited hugely.'
Scarlett, along with Olivia Syder, also helped the East squad to team gold at the championships.