Teen high jumper picked for elite clinic

IPSWICH Harriers athlete Charlotte Shelley has become the youngest person ever to be selected for an elite national high jumping clinic.Run by South of England high jump coach Carol Jackson, the independent clinic aims to provide around 20 of the nation's most promising young high jumpers with specific training and facilities for their discipline.

IPSWICH Harriers athlete Charlotte Shelley has become the youngest person ever to be selected for an elite national high jumping clinic.

Run by South of England high jump coach Carol Jackson, the independent clinic aims to provide around 20 of the nation's most promising young high jumpers with specific training and facilities for their discipline.

At just 13 years-old, Shelley becomes by far the youngest athlete on the programme, with the other high jumpers all aged between 16 and 20.

The Ipswich High School pupil will now travel to the Uxbridge-based Brunel University once a week to train. While there, former Commonwealth Games high jump silver medallist Jo Jennings will also assist with Shelley's training.


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Jackson, who has helped coach Alan McKie to No.10 in the country, said: “It is early days, but Charlotte has fitted in quite nicely so far. She listens and responds really well to anything I have suggested.”

Just two weeks after starting on the programme, Shelley travelled to north London's Lee Valley to take part in the South of England Championships.

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Competing in the Under-15 age category, Shelley claimed gold with a new personal best of 1.55m.

As a result, Shelley is now ranked No.6 in the UK in an age group for which she is still two years young. She had finished last year as UK No.4 in the U13 age group.

The height of 1.55m should also be enough to qualify Shelley for the English Schools' Championships later this year.

Shelley originally started out as a gymnast, a sport in which she quickly progressed to represent both Ipswich and Suffolk in numerous competitions around the country over seven years.

Since leaving the gymnastics circuit, Shelley moved on to captain her school's hockey, netball and athletic teams, while out of school she represents Ipswich Netball Club U14s.

Shelley said: “I have had tremendous help and support from her my Harriers coach Ricky Hanley, as well as my school sports teacher Miss Evans.

“I would also like to thank my head teacher Ms Purves who has been extremely helpful in allowing me time off school each week to attend Brunel University.”

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