Dedication Pays off for Talented Tumbler Jacob 

In a huge sporting town such as St Helens, you could be forgiven for expecting the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award to go to an upcoming rugby player, footballer, or even a darter.But this year’s award is travelling back to Rainford with 15-year-old Jacob Kelly, who is making waves in the world of tumbling.The sport of tumbling is a form of gymnastics in which competitors somersault their way along a narrow track.

And after a fantastic year, Jacob is making it look easy after securing his first major title and achieving the honour of representing his country.But for Jacob, the pinnacle of his sporting career so far was walking on to the stage and collecting his Pride of St Helens award.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting to win this award and it’s the best feeling ever to know that I’ve finally made something of myself,” he said.“Words can’t even begin to explain how happy I am to have got this award and I just can’t thank my mum and dad enough.

“I would have to say that this is definitely up there alongside representing my country as one of my proudest achievements. This is a big thing for me.”Such is Jacob’s dedication to tumbling that he travels across the Pennines to Wakefield Gymnastics Club five times a week to train at one of the best tumbling clubs in the country.

And his drive to achieve his goals is certainly paying dividends considering the success he has had already in his career.Jacob has twice represented Great Britain at the World Championships in Portugal and Bulgaria, before winning his first major title – the English Championships – with a personal best in September.

He then followed this with a third place in at the British Championships.“I genuinely love doing what I do and it’s just amazing to be able to do something for my country,” he added.“I got into the sport after I saw a guy do a backflip off a bench and it was then that I decided that I wanted to spend my life doing the same.

“The travelling to training is hard, but it’s definitely worth it when you win awards like this and get to represent your country.”I would be surprised if this was the last time you heard of Jacob Kelly, and the Rainford tumbler is definitely one to watch for the future.n Other worthy nominees who picked up highly commended awards were: 13-year-old tennis ace Hannah Rylatt, who has had success at Wimbledon this year in the International Road to Wimbledon Doubles competition which saw her face opponents from China, Hong Kong, India and Japan.

And MMA starlet Sophie Bellis who trains at HAMMA Mixed Martial arts Gym and who has become a junior world champion in Rome this year. She was one of four youngsters to fly out to the Italian capital – but she won the title.

Thanks to The St Helen’s Star for the post:-

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