North East Connected

Flipping fantastic – Worlds joy for student

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 15.43.42A SUNDERLAND College student is jumping for joy, after being selected to compete on a world stage, as part of Team GB.

19-year old sports development student Kristie Harrington has received the call up of a lifetime, after making it to the 2016 Acrobatic Gymnastics Worlds in China, competing in the women’s group gymnastics category.

Kristie, who lives in Boldon, is one of 34 GB athletes selected to compete, seven of whom train with her at South Tyneside Gymnastics Club.  She has the full backing of Sunderland College, which has offered Kristie £500 towards the trip.  The college has also planned a number of fundraising activities – including a student and staff car wash this Friday – to help her raise the £2,500 needed to cover travel costs and kit.

Kristie, who has competed internationally before, said that it is a huge honour to once again represent her country.  She said: “The World Championships are a really big deal so it is incredible to be chosen to compete in them again.

“I took part in 2014, in Paris, and managed to secure a bronze medal, which was amazing.  I am really hoping to medal higher this year, but the competition is going to be tough, and I am naturally more nervous than I normally would be, because it is such a significant event.”

This year’s competition will take place in Putian, midway between Hong Kong and Shanghai, from March 21 to April 5.  Kristie will take part in three routines – dynamic, balance and combined.

Ellen Thinnesen, principal and chief executive of Sunderland College, said that it is testament to the hard work and dedication of Kristie that she has made the elite squad and that the college is proud to offer her support.

“Sunderland College has a lot of high-flying students, and Kristie is certainly one of those.

“To be taking part in a competition that will see her go head-to-head against some of the best young gymnasts in the world really does prove just how talented Kristie is, and myself, the team at the college and of course, her fellow students, will be cheering her on all the way from home.  To have been able to offer support to help finance the trip is great – we are committed to helping our students to succeed in all that they do, so we are delighted to have been able to help Kristie.”

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