Medals galore for Clitheroe champion gymnast CJ

Caroline Jennison at the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics. (s)
Caroline Jennison at the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics. (s)

It’s medals galore for Caroline Jennison, affectionately known as CJ, who has scooped an amazing bronze, silver and gold medals at the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics 2019.

Champion gymnast, CJ began her Olympic dream two years ago when she was selected to become part of team GB and represent her country in the gymnastic-rhythmics category.

The athlete recently travelled to the United Arab Emirates to compete in the 50th anniversary of the games and was over the moon with her success.

The journey required her to train hard and attend several team GB training camps and also to raise over £2,500 as part of her cost.

She has starred at the World Special Olympics before, but costs had soared since she last competed.

In order to realise her dream, CJ was supported by many people, particularly staff and pupils at Ribblesdale High School, who raised £500 during Sport Relief 2018 to help get her on the way.

Along with support from the Grand, in Clitheroe, and the Ribble Valley Blue Funk Syndicate Band, who held a special music night back in September to help raise even more funds.

And so the ending has a very silver lining as CJ beat stiff competition from dozens of other athletes to win bronze, silver and gold medals.

Delighted with the experience and the results, CJ said: “I would like to thank all the people who have supported me on this amazing journey, you need to know that this is very special and I want to say a big thank you!

“I would especially like to thank my teacher sister Sharon and all her pupils at Ribblesdale. I love team GB.”

A spokesman for Ribblesdale High said: “It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the school began its mission to get CJ to the Special Olympics. We are proud of her and have been cheering her on.”

On her return, CJ is planning on visiting the school and the Blue Funk Syndicate to show off her medals.