YOUNG gymnast Jacob Kelly has been selected to represent Great Britain in next month’s World Age Championships.

This year’s event is in Bulgarian capital Sofia, but he already has his sights on future championships in Russia and Tokyo.

But, taking one step at a time, selection for this year’s games is a reward for the 13-year-old Rainford High School pupil’s skill, hard work and dedication.

The youngster travels to Wakefield Gymnastics Club from his Rainford home four times a week to train at one of the best tumbling clubs in the country.

Jacob was initially pointed in that direction by St Helens’ former World tumbling champion Rachael Letsche.

He is currently being coached by Craig Lowther, who has produced Senior and Junior World Champions over the years.

After initially starting out at a regular gymnastics club, Jacob’s talent for the tumbling discipline soon came to the fore.

He has been tumbling for three years and in this time he has progressed through the levels, from club to regional and now national level.

In 2016 was selected for the development squad, later in the year he represented Great Britain for the first time at the 2016 Loule Cup, hosted in Portugal, where he finished joint fourth.

This year he was selected for the World Age Podium 13-14 Squad, the main focus of the squad was to prepare for trial/selection for the World Age team at the British Championships which was held at the Echo Arena, Liverpool at the end of September.

Following the British Championships, Jacob, who is the youngest age of the 13-14 category, was selected for the Great Britain team for Bulgaria.

His mother Janette said: “We were all made up to find out that Jacob’s and his coaches hard work had paid off.

“He’s done really well to make the team this year, he has moved from the 11-12 age group into the 13-14 age group which is an exceptionally strong age group.

“All year he has worked relentlessly to up his skill/difficulty levels to be in with a chance of being selected.”

Tumbling is not yet an Olympic Sport, so everything is fully self-funded by the gymnasts and their families until they move into the seniors.

Given that the cost for the Bulgaria event alone is just over £1,700, with the following two years’ Worlds taking place even further afield in Russia and Japan, sponsorship is required to support the gymnasts selected at this level.

Jacob is seeking a sponsor as he sets off to represent his country on the world stage.

Any businesses or individuals wishing to support Jacob for this tournament or become a longer term sponsor to help him achieve his dream of one day becoming a World Champion should get in touch with his parents via email.


St Helens as a town has a pedigree in the sport of tumbling and readers will recall Sutton Leach’s Rachael Letsche taking gold in the senior women’s World Tumbling Championship back in 2014.

Letsche produced a stunning performance when she secured the title in the final in Daytona, Florida.

Jacob will be hoping to follow in her footsteps.