Because eight days a week is not enough to show I care, and there are only eight days to go until the first ever World Championships for Jrs, today we go all the way to Britain and introduce you to Jessica “Dolly” Haynes.
The young athlete from Great Britain is only 17, but has been to four CVIs this year already (Pezinok, Moorsele, Portogruaro and Berne) all trying to reach the qualifying scores for this competition. And she did manage to qualify both as an individual and as part of the PDD, together with Katie Hirst.
You wanna know more about Jessica? She is a featured athlete from the British Vaulting Federation and has been keeping a few blog entries and sharing her road to the championships with the world.
We have talked a little bit to Ann Rogerson, past vaulter and one of the leaders of the british vaulting community. This year she isn’t gonna go to Ermelo, for she is gonna be in the Europeans in Aachen the following week, but Ann has told us all about the preparations of the Team GBR for the competition.
Several jr athletes from different nationalities will be competing in two different categories, so we asked Ann how she sees the challenges for the british vaulters: Jessica has been training hard this semester and is already used to the rhythm of the competition, so the job for the championships is gonna be more of a mental work than physical fitness. Most of the athletes GBR is bringing to The Netherlands usually compete in more than one event on their national competitions but, apart from Haynes, only Charlie Lochhead qualified to participate in two different events next week: Individual and Squad.
More than just a regular experience, the Jr Worlds is a chance for young vaulters to show their art. Where else would athletes such as Jessica be able to compete in high level against other athletes from all over the globe and have the whole vaulting family keeping a close eye on them?
Ann points out that in the past jr vaulters were more of the rule: Teams weren’t allowed to have athletes over 18, so sr level is actually the new category. Recently, though, we have learned of countries that have chosen not to send sr teams to big championships due to lack of competition level, in fact, GBR was one of this nations and decided not to participate on the WEGs last year. So maybe the investment on the jrs is the way to train the base and grow the sport from the bottom up trying to fill the gap.
That’s it folks: We are living a very special moment in our sport with fresh blood coming in, new nations, new athletes and a new competition.
We wish Dolly all the best, may she keep on practicing hard and grow to become a great sr vaulter. You can watch her performance from the CVI Berne right bellow.
You can keep up with our countdown and check out all the profiles we’ve published right here.
See you all tomorrow!