Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 15.01.02A YOUNG athlete is making a splash at the highest level after joining the England kayak squad.

Barnard Castle School girl Carys Grey-Thompson has been ranked 5th in the country for her age after becoming part of the U14 development squad and will compete in the Pan-Celtic Cup between the home countries in October.

The 14-year-old, of Eaglescliffe, has been competing for the past four years and is a member of Tees Tigers, a club based at Tees Barrage, Stockton, and is part of the Tees Active Sports Academy.

Fast becoming a white water expert, she is honing her skills at a host of competitions around the country, supported by her mother, Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and has already tackled the rigorous kayak course built for the London Olympics.

“I really enjoy it,” the Year 9 student said. “It looks scary when you are watching but you soon get used to it.

“In my last race, in Scotland, I was quickest down the course but hit two gates and was penalised, then I went clear but wasn’t quick enough. The trick is to get the balance right.”

Currently a Division 1 competitor, she is striving for promotion to the Premier League, hopes one day to compete at a future Olympics and has already moved her bib number up from 37 last year to five.

Carys will next compete nationally on May 21 at a competition in Nottingham.