Louth gymnast Nellie Ball ready to impress on British Championship stage aged 11

Rising Louth gymnast Nellie Ball has crowned another great year competing at national events by qualifying for the British Championships in March.
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Already competing at the highest level she can for an 11-year-old, Nellie will now compete against the best 11-13 year olds in the country and is one of only three women’s artistic gymnastics to have ever qualified from Lincolnshire and the youngest to have qualified from the county.

This is the first year she’s been old enough to qualify as you have to turn at least 12 in the year of competition - she will be 12 in May.

Nellie will be sharing the MSN bank arena, Liverpool, with Olympians (competing in their own age section) such as Becky Downie, Alice Kinsella, Georgia Mae Fenton, the Gadirova twins and Ondine Achampong.

British Championships debut looming for 11-year-old Nellie Ball.British Championships debut looming for 11-year-old Nellie Ball.
British Championships debut looming for 11-year-old Nellie Ball.

Mum Vicki said: “I’m most proud of her modesty and how humble she is, plus her dedication and determination. She trains 20 hours a week in term time, slightly more in the holidays, and juggles her friendships and school work and just ploughs on.

“Even if she places last on everything, she will still be in the top 40 of the best 11-13 year olds in the whole of the country.”

A former Kirkby on Bain Primary School pupil, she is now at William Farr Secondary near Lincoln and is a member of Witham Hill Gymnastics in Lincoln so faces a lot of travel. Nellie will warm up for the British Championships with her first English Championships in Telford at the beginning of March, again competing amongst the country’sbbest 11-13 year olds.

She was one of only four selected by the East Midlands Gymnastics technical committee to attend a national squad day at British Gymnastics headquarters at Lillieshall in August, training alongside Olympian Alice Kinsella and was coached by national coaches from both GBR and internationally. The selection was based on performance over the year.

Vicki added: “Her main goal was to qualify for the British but had no expectations to achieve it so soon. She sets herself realistic goals, to beat the last score on floor, to remember to point her toes, to compete and upgraded skill for the first time. She’s a realistic little thing. Her goal would be to one day get invited for a trial for the English or GBR team.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​