A Teesside University aerospace engineering student is balancing studies with competing for Britain in gymnastics at international level.

A Teesside University student is juggling studies with competing in gymnastics at international level.

Jess Brain, aerospace engineering student, will join the GBR team at the 2022 Trampoline, Tumbling and DMT World Championships, taking place in Bulgaria from November 16 to 19.

The second year BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering student will compete individually and as part of the GBR tumbling team.

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“I first got into gymnastics when I was younger. I was always on the go, so my mum decided to put me into a gymnastics class to burn off some energy,” said Jess, 20, who currently trains with Durham City gymnastics club and has competed internationally in the past.

Originally from Somerset, Jess chose Teesside University due to the aerospace engineering course and the University’s Performance Sport scheme, which supports talented student athletes in helping them to achieve excellence.

“I have always wanted to be a pilot, from a very young age,” said Jess, who took her first flying lesson aged 14, gained her pilot licence in 2019 and still regularly flies light aircraft.

“When I was looking at universities, I wanted to do something with aircrafts, so I looked at aeronautical and aerospace engineering. I wanted a hands-on course and be able to tie in with the gym.

“I enjoy the challenge and the buzz of Performance Sport.  I train to push myself and I have achieved more than I ever expected.  I have made some good, like-minded friends and travelled to different countries with the sport.”

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While enjoying competing at international level in gymnastics, Jess says her future career aim is to become a pilot, either for commercial airlines or with the RAF.

Dr Atma Prakash, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies, said: “We are all extremely proud of Jess and applaud her accomplishments, in both her sporting career and engineering studies. We wish her every luck.”

Jess will be joined at the competition in Bulgaria by Teesside University chiropractic student Lewis Westwood, who is part of the men’s tumbling team.

Lewis, 20, from Stockton-on-Tees, a MSci (Hons) Chiropractic student in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, will be competing with the GBR team for the third time.

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