A young baton twirler has secured five titles and been selected to turn out for the England squad at next year’s European Championships.
And her proud dad has offered heartfelt thanks to her primary school for helping out when she was having problems finding places to train.
Jessica Hughes, 10, won sashes in the solo twirl, two baton, dance solo, fancy strut and duet categories at the NBTA National Baton Twirling Championships in Devon last month.
Her performances were so impressive that she will join her team mates in Amsterdam for the NBTA European Championships next Easter.
Jessica’s success comes six months after her parents, Jeff and Debbie, appealed through the Observer for somewhere local for their daughter to train.
Dawn Martin, headteacher at Gossops Green Primary School, quickly came forward to offer the school’s facilities.
Jeff said: “We welcomed this opportunity and would like to publicly thank the school for their willingness to help us.
“Otherwise training facilities remained difficult to come by and we found recently that we were having to travel to Haywards Heath and Hassocks to gain use of a full height sports hall so that Jessica could practice all her events.”
Dawn said: “ It is always great to see young people succeed through talent, hard work and dedication and we try to encourage all our pupils to aim high in every walk of life and to nurture all their talents.
“Providing space for Jessica to train is a very easy way for us to support her. We also celebrate her many successes in our regular ‘Celebration Assemblies’ and hope that she will inspire others to succeed in their chosen paths.”
Regarding his daughter’s success with the baton, Jeff added: “As parents we are extremely proud of what Jessica has achieved, but we are more proud of the way in which she has dedicated herself to her training and self-belief which has resulted in such amazing progression and improvement throughout 2012.”