2018 is set to be yet another busy year for our young Gymnastics Ambassador Alice Kinsella, beginning with her Gymnastics World Cup debut for Team GB this evening, before flying out to Australia’s Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games. At just 17 years old, Alice has begun to establish herself within the senior ranks of the Great Britain team over the past 12 months with the highlight being her impressive performances at the World Championships in Montreal.
Ahead of her latest adventure on the world gymnastics stage, British Gymnastics caught up with Alice to get a more in-depth view into to the life of an elite British gymnast.
Asked about how much she is looking forward to competing at the World Cup in her hometown Alice said “I’m so excited to be competing at the Gymnastics World Cup because it’s in my hometown and I can’t wait to compete in front of everyone. I grew up and still live in Sutton Coldfiled so this is a great opportunity for me to be able to perform in front of my friends and family. The Gymnastics World Cup is a huge event and the perfect competition for me to experience before the Commonwealth Games, to have the big arena and the home crowd cheering me on will be an amazing feeling. I really like a big crowd so everyone please cheer – it really gets me focused and pushes me on!”
Looking back at her breakthrough year in 2017 and her call-up to the senior squad for the World Championships in Montreal she commented “Competing as a 16-year-old at the World Championships was an amazing experience. Just to watch the top girls train and compete is really inspirational. When it came to the competition itself I really wasn’t too nervous which was really reassuring. Being with the other British girls helps, we get along really well and they definitely help some of the younger girls.”
So, now with such a huge year ahead of her, is she excited? “2018 already feels a bit crazy really! I don’t know what’s happening. To be competing at the Gymnastics world cup and then at the Commonwealth Games is a huge honour. I can’t wait to get out to Australia, to see the athletes village and to compete. I’ve never taken part in a multi-sport event before so it’s all going to be new for me.”
With Alice’s public profile growing with every new and more prestigious event at which she competes, she is becoming a role model for the next generation of gymnastics hopefuls, one thing they will all want to know how it all began for her and how much training she does now? “I first started gymnastics at school and loved it straight away, it was probably around nine when I started to think this could be my life. I train at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club combining that with college as well. It can be a lot of work and hard to balance both. My coaches are Brett Ince and Christine Still. Brett tends to lead on bars, vault and floor and Chris on beam, though they both overlap. Everyone knows Chris from her work with the BBC as a commentator, I guess she might find it different to have to commentate on one of her own gymnasts!”
“My best apparatus is definitely beam and I’ve worked on a new dismount from bars for this year which I’m looking forward to competing. With an all-around competition like the Gymnastics World Cup the key is consistency across all four apparatus, if I can do that I’ll be happy”
Tune in to see Alice and the rest of the Great Britain team tonight from 19:00 live on the BBC Red Button and Online.