Jemma Kilkerri, 20, is proving that a range of disabilities don't have to hold you back as she continues to thrive in a career as a coach in competitive trampolining and gymnastics, as well as exceeding in education too.
Studying a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching at East Durham College, Jemma is also an accomplished trampolinist. She was a gold medallist in the British Gymnastics Trampoline NDP Finals 2017 and thanks to her efforts in coaching is now a British Gymnastics Disability Coach Ambassador.
"I first started trampolining when I was 7, but I had to take some breaks due to my epilepsy." said Jemma.
"For the past three years, in multiple gymnastics clubs, I coach / have coached gymnasts who are from 2 years of age up to age 15, in various classes including General, TeamGym, Pre-School Gymnastics and Trampolining.
"I coach gymnasts of a wide range of abilities – from beginner / recreational sessions to competitive level. I help them to learn new skills and routines, and help to correct their technique to help them to prepare for competitions, whilst making gymnastics a fun experience for them."
Through her skills in gymnastics and trampolining, Jemma has gained many different qualifications and awards, including a Level 2 coaching qualification, enabling her to lead her own gymnastics sessions now at Velocity Trampoline & DMT Club.
Jemma’s disabilities include autism, epilepsy, dyspraxia and speech difficulties; she’s not let this hold her back as she has progressed from foundation studies at East Durham College onto a triple distinction star grade on her level 3 BTEC before enrolling onto the Foundation degree (FdSc) Sports Coaching course.
"I came to EDC after hearing excellent reviews from family members who have studied there before." she said.
"I've received a huge amount of support from lecturers and the learning support staff during my time here - I've been able to achieve things I'm very proud of including gaining a D*D*D* grade in my BTEC L3 Extended Sport course."
In the future, Jemma plans to finish her Foundation Degree Sports Coaching course by the end of 2019 and then complete her final third year at Sunderland University. She's also passionate about her trampolining and gymnastics, planning to continue with her coaching, gain further coaching qualifications and to continue competing in competitions too.
After university, Jemma would like to become a full-time trampolining and gymnastics coach.