Kelly Simm wants to use her success this year as a springboard.
The Dynamo gymnast has had an incredible 2014, both domestically and internationally – becoming British and English vault champion, a Commonwealth gold medallist and a World Championship finalist.
And the Whiteley teenager is keen to build on the experience so she can become a regular medallist on the international stage.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch of the new rock climbing wall in Whiteley Shopping Centre, Simm said: ‘I’ve gone to the Commonwealths and the worlds, I’ve got a British title and an English title this year so everything’s just come together, so I’m hoping to take this experience and build on it.
‘I’m getting a bit more consistent and I’m starting to believe in myself a lot more.
‘I know I really want it so I’m working really really hard.’
The Commonwealth Games gold winner made her debut at the World Championships in China earlier this month and thoroughly enjoyed her outing at the highest level.
‘With it being in China it was just amazing, it’s such a different country,’ said Simm.
‘It was great to go out there and compete at my first World Championships.
‘The best teams and the best people in the world are there so it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.
‘We qualified in fourth, which was the highest GB have ever qualified, so that was a big boost.
‘Then we just aimed to enjoy the team final and we came sixth.’
The 19-year-old added: ‘There was a lot of pressure to perform the routines but it was a great experience.
‘I was really happy with my performance.
‘Everything went really well, I’m just very excited to get back in the gym and learn some new skills for next year.’
The Great Britain men and women’s teams have made massive strides in competition over the past two years and Simm is proud to be part of such a successful programme.
‘Russia and Romania are now in our grasp and we saw that this year,’ said Simm.
‘I think everyone is starting to believe now.
‘We could see we were getting close to them and getting similar scores so we know it’s possible now.
‘We’re just aiming to keep getting better and keep pushing for the medal positions.
‘The squad is stronger than it’s ever been. It’s amazing to be a part of it and know that we’re one of the best countries in the world.’
The World Championships were certainly a valuable eye-opener for Simm.
She added: ‘I learnt how to handle myself under pressure and cope with the nerves and the formats of the competition and not get too intimidated by the other gymnasts.’
Simm now has a break from major competitions until the English championships in March.
Then she will compete in the British championships, followed by the Europeans and World Junior Games, for university students.
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