Whaley Bridge gymnast Jenni Pinches is in the Olympics! The 18-year-old – probably the first Whaley-based Olympian – heard officially that she has made the women’s team on Wednesday, 4 July.
It was a long, anxious day for Jenni’s dad Ian and her three younger brothers at home. When the news was finally confirmed, he said: “That’s tremendous. I’m sipping champagne as I speak. There’s a posh meal in Shrewsbury tomorrow (5 July) for the team and parents. It will be great. Then we’re having a celebration at home – Jenni will be looking in before going off for training.”
Ian plays in a local band, Hotblack. He’s wondering how to celebrate the news at their next gig in the King’s Arms, Chapel en le Frith on Saturday (7 July). Jenni’s uncle Andy is singer in the band.
The family have tickets for the qualification round in London.
A lucky omen from the Whaley Bridge welldressing? The main board, created from flower petals and clay, shows a gymnast, above another High Peak Olympic link, a cyclist. Many Olympic stars, based in Manchester, have trained in the area. (See following item and pictures below),
Jenni has been one of Britain’s top women gymnasts in recent months, and trains regularly with three times world champion Beth Tweddle at Liverpool. Jenni is hoping to be in the GB women’s team of five.
Jenni took part in the world championships in Tokyo last autumn, playing a key part in the British team’s qualification for the Olympics. She has taken a year out from her A level course at King’s School. Macclesfield, because of the time taken in training, and will return to complete her A levels in the new school year starting in September.