Emily’s skydiver talents fly her to the top of junior championships

A 13-YEAR-OLD Horsell girl has won the right to compete in the indoor skydiving world cup after finishing first in the juniors and fourth overall in the recent British championships.

Emily King took up the sport when she was four because she wanted to “fly like Tinkerbell” and within three years was winning local competitions as a freestyle soloist and when she was 10, finished third in the national championships.

Emily in action

Freestyle skydiving involves complex acrobatic routines to music in a vertical wind tunnel that allows the athletes to float and “fly”.  

Emily’s mum, Sharon, said: “I really don’t know where she’s got it from. It was something that she just took to from the moment she went in the tunnel.

“She always wanted to go back there for birthdays or other special occasions. The instructors loved taking her in because she was so smiley and just loved it all the time.”

Emily with coach Zac Nicholas

Her success in Basingstoke means Emily could compete in the world cup in Belgium in April this year but has decided to wait until the 2023 championships in Slovakia to give her more time to train and because of schoolwork.

“Due to disruption caused by COVID, the British nationals came very close to the world championships in Brussels and it left only 50 days to train which isn’t much when you have to do these very complicated routines to music,” Sharon said.

“They’re judged not only on the technical capability but how it corresponds to the music.”

Emily said she thoroughly enjoyed the competition in Basingstoke.

“It was great because everybody is lovely and you get to go against people in a different age group, with different styles and levels of experience,” she said.

“Indoor skydiving means you’re able to fly. It’s a very rare occurrence to defy gravity and a fun thing to do.”

Emily participates in a wide range of sport, including golf, skating, acrobatics, netball and lacrosse.

She intends to compete for as long as she can and also to become a professional instructor.

Emily is planning to add outdoor skydiving to her skills and when she is 16, hopes to jump with the Red Devils, the British Army’s official parachute display team.

“Because I’m a capable flier indoors, I’ll be quite a good flier outdoors,” she said.

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