Kaitlin Lafferty

Teenager Kaitlin Lafferty started tumbling when she was just seven years old and within two years she started competing.

 

Tumbling is a very dynamic gymnastic sport, which involves linking a series of whips, flicks, somersaults and twists together in one run. It takes strength, skill and dedication – two things that Kaitlin has plenty of,but shortly after qualifying for her first British

Championship at the age of nine, she fell extremely ill with transverse venus sinus thrombosis - a rare form of childhood stroke.

After an extended stay in hospital, Kaitlin was strong enough to start retraining, only to be struck with a second stroke just six months later. It was a tough blow for the talented competitor.

Kaitlin was diagnosed with an anti-thrombin III deficiency, a genetic disorder which causes her blood to clot easily. Despite being told she needed blood thinning medication for the rest of her life, and the associated risks, Kaitlin refused to give up on her sporting goals.

In 2012, Kaitlin finally got the chance to compete in her first British Championship and after winning a bronze medal for her age group at the British Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Liverpool this year, she’s been chosen to represent Great Britain at the

World Age Group Championships in Denmark in December.

Mum Clare says; “Kaitlin went from being a very active child to being very poorly but she built herself back up.

“It was scary to see her compete again. When you watch tumbling they’re literally going head over heels and with her blood thinning medication, a fall could be very serious. But my husband and I agreed she should be allowed to do the sport she loves.

“It was a big moment when Kaitlin got her Team GB kit - she was absolutely beside herself with excitement. We’re incredibly proud and humbled by Kaitlin’s determination and focus.” And so are we.



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