THIRTY hours a week of dedicated training have come to fruition for Dynamo gymnast Kelly Simm with selection for next month’s Commonwealth Games.
The 18-year-old from Whiteley said she was “jumping around the house with excitement” after learning she would be part of England’s five-strong women’s artistic squad for Glasgow.
Simm, a former student of Henry Cort Community College in Fareham, has just finished her final exams at Itchen College and will be heading to Southampton Solent University in the autumn to study sports science.
She joined Hamble-based Dynamo School of Gymnastics as a six-year-old and follows in the footsteps of clubmate and training partner Laura Edwards who was part of England’s silver medal-winning team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
“We had an inkling Kelly might be in the squad, so we were hoping and hoping, and we were skipping around the place when the news came through,” said Dynamo’s co-director of gymnastics Keith Richardson who, along with wife and co-director Debbie, has nurtured Simm’s blossoming career.
“It’s always been Kelly’s aspiration to make the Commonwealth Games and this is a marvellous opportunity for her.
“She’s had a couple of internationals this year and took the vault title in the Great Britain v Netherlands match at Lilleshall.
“In March she came sixth overall in the Great Britain championships and was crowned British vault champion.
“She missed out on the European Championships recently but she’s in the running for the World Championships in October and this will stand her in good stead.
“Her ultimate goal is the 2016 Olympics in Rio and she’s just the right age for that.
“We’re over the moon for her.”
England’s women’s artistic team is led by European champion and double Commonwealth Games medallist Rebecca Downie. Simm will also be joined in Scotland by three of the 2014 European silver medal-winning team – Claudia Fragapane, Ruby Harrold and Hannah Whelan.
Simm, who is due to collect her England kit on Sunday, will spend ten days at a training camp in Barcelona later this month before reporting to the national training centre at Lilleshall.