|CLAIRE LOUISE WRIGHT TRAMPOLINE |
Place of Birth: Frimley
Club: Training at OLGA
Started gymnastics: At seven DAYS old she was at the Guinness School of Sport for one week at Crystal Palace NSC where her mother and father were coaching gymnastics. In 1988 she went to a Trampoline Club.
Personal coach: Nigel Rendell
National Coach: John Beer
Training: 4-5 hours a day, six days a week
First International: GB v Germany 1991
At seven days old (yes SEVEN DAYS!) I did my first gymnastics course at Crystal Palace
photo Mike Driscoll
Ever since that first day I have been in the gym nearly every day off my life, through choice of course. At the age of one I learned a front somersault and at the age of four I learnt a backward somersault on the trampoline in Bulgaria.
I didn't want to be an artistic gymnast and my mum and dad backed me in that decision because they felt it wasn't right to coach your own child but they did give me the option of training at another
club. I didn't take that option but instead chose the discipline of trampolining.
At seven years old I joined the local club and found that I had the same
passion and dedication that my parents had. I loved to train and I loved to
win even more. I hated missing training for anything because I knew that I
had to work hard to get to where I wanted.
My parents were very supportive but never interfered, always took me to
training and picked me up but never asked too many questions about what I
had done, just a simple 'was it good?' They turned up for competitions as
long as they didn't clash with their own and my dad was always the one
falling asleep in the back row reading his paper.
photo Alan Edwards
| “Claire is dedicated to her sport and very hard on herself”, said the National coach John Beer. “ She trains with a 110% and likes competing. She is also a very good skier and loves practicing many other sports in her leisure time. She becomes the life and soul of every party- she loves dancing and is an excellent entertainer”.|
At my first World's I was probably very naive but it was a great moment for me. The other girls on the team were much older than me, in their early and mid twenties at the time. Nothing was expected of me so I didn't feel any pressure. I sailed through my routines and at the end found that my score counted towards us winning the bronze medal as a team, it was such a great feeling and I then couldn't get enough of the sport. After I had completed my A levels I went to the University Of Wales Institute Cardiff and graduated with a degree in Sport and Physical education. Again the university was extremely supportive and gave me
allowances for my sport, they also awarded me with the Sports personality in 2000, something I was very proud of. While I was at the university I came 3rd in the individual at the world championships and won a World Cup.
At this time I was at the Marist Convent School where I had full backing from the teachers and the other students. People respected me for what I did and the teachers realised that what I was doing was really important to me.
I did have to take time off school for competitions because by the age of thirteen I was on the senior national trampoline team and by fourteen I was
competing in my first senior World Championships. Nowadays you cannot be a senior until you are seventeen but I was fortunate enough to compete
internationally from a young age.
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photo Getty Images
By Mike Valverde