A TEENAGE girl from North Waltham is one of hundreds of the UK’s elite skydivers heading to Basingstoke this weekend to compete in the British Indoor Skydiving Nationals.

Taking place at iFly at Basingstoke Leisure Park on February 12 and 13, the event will see the country’s top freefall talent compete against each other in the purpose-built vertical wind tunnel, which can generate wind speeds of up to 180mph.

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Competitors will go head-to-head to be named British champions, while spectators can watch for free in person or live online.

Amongst those competing over the weekend is 13-year-old Emily King from North Waltham.

Emily started learning to skydive at aged four after she was given an indoor skydiving flight as a Christmas present.

She described her first flight as “amazing” adding: “I was hooked and I just wanted to do it again and again.”

Emily returned to Basingstoke’s indoor skydiving centre every few months and by the time she was five, could fly on her tummy unaided.

Aged seven Emily started receiving coaching from an instructor at iFly and began competing aged eight.

She will be competing in the ‘freestyle’ category this weekend, showing off her advanced acrobatic moves.

Others taking part in the competition include NFTO – the British female four-way team - and Zac Nicholas from Basingstoke who will compete in ‘two-way freefly’ hoping for a first place finish.

The overall winner of the competition will go on to represent Great Britain in Belgium at the World Championships in April.

Flying starts at 10am on Saturday and ends at 4pm on Sunday.

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Kimberley Barber