After years spent committed to her sport, Andover gymnast Jenna Barrett has had her huge efforts rewarded with selection for the Great Britain junior tumbling squad.
This is a huge achievement having spent six months injured and ill last year which saw her miss the British Championships for the first time in six years and the World Age Championships in Bulgaria.
Jenna will join the team at a number of training camps, including an international camp in Denmark.
Her first selection for the GB team was at the age of 11 in 2009 and on hearing the news this year she said: “I was immensely proud when I found out I had been selected and extremely happy to know that training five times a week and making lots of sacrifices was worth it.” Since making the squad Jenna has been solely focused on being selected for the European Championships in April which are being held in Portugal.
She is one of only four girls, aged 13-17 years selected and she will be competing at European level for the first time in her career.
Following this, in September Jenna will be competing on home turf at the British Championships in Liverpool. “Before my career ends” says Jenna, “I would love to become British Champion. I am going to continue with tumbling gymnastics for as long as I am physically able to.”
Jenna first started training at the Salto Centre in Andover as a tumbling gymnast when she was seven years old and trains five times a week. Now 16, she has competed on numerous occasions including three World Age Championships and the British Championships. In 2011 she won bronze at the sport’s biggest event, the World Age competition, and in 2012 took silver in the British Championship.
Jenna’s gymnastic skill and knowledge is making a positive impact on her studies at Harrow Way. She says: “Being a national gymnast has helped me gain a good understanding of the human body and sport in general which is really useful with regard to my GCSE PE course. ‘Collectively my studies and my sport means I have in-depth biological knowledge coupled with practical skill-related exercise experience.”
Harrow Way head of PE, Richard Peters said: “To compete at this level Jenna has to train incredibly hard. ‘We ensure that she stays on track with her studies by offering support and being accommodating but never at the expense of her education.”