Commonwealth Gold medallist and World Championship medallist, Kelly Simm, supports BRIT
We are delighted that Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, World Championship medallist and former British & English Champion, Kelly Simm is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
Kelly is an Artistic Gymnast and has represented Great Britain at three World Championships (2014, 2015 and 2018) including being part of the Bronze medal winning team in 2015. She has represented England at the last two Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2018), achieving Team Gold and Silver medals and an individual Bronze. Kelly became the first British gymnast to win the all-around Gold at the World University Games in 2015 and was selected as Flag Bearer for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony. In 2018, she became British all around and Bars champion, as well as making European bars and World championship all around finals.
“As a former student at Solent University, and competing with young elite athletes for well over a decade, I know that many young adults and students suffer with mental health challenges. COVID-19 has impacted on all our lives, however its been well documented that the pandemic has intensified existing mental health difficulties faced by many young people. Mental health services have become stretched throughout the pandemic and this means more young people are struggling to access the help they need. It is vital that they receive timely support to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects.
Charities have a vital role in supporting young adult mental health and so many charities have struggled to fundraise during the COVID-19 pandemic; It is amazing to see that BRIT are inviting every university and college to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities.
The annual BRIT Challenge is an exciting UK-wide opportunity for every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. The BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part wherever they are and be part of this inspiring feelgood February fundraiser.
I am delighted to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family and look forward to uniting with Olympians, Paralympians, elite athletes, adventurers and explorers, to support universities or colleges of our choice, promoting the BRIT Challenge, destigmatising mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion.
I look forward to supporting students and staff at Solent University if they take on the BRIT Challenge.”
Great Britain Artistic Gymnast, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, World Championship medallist and former British and English Champion
Kelly has been an elite artistic gymnast since the age of 6 and has represented Great Britain for over a decade. During this time, Kelly studied for her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Sports Science at Solent University, graduating with a first-class honour in 2019. She then went onto pursue a Master of Science degree during the COVID-19 lockdown in Sports Science and Performance coaching, completing the degree in 2021.
Kelly made her senior international debut in 2010, at a friendly meet for Great Britain against Australia, where she won gold on vault and bronze on floor exercise. That year she went on to win team bronze in two friendly meets, one against Switzerland, the other against Germany. Since then, Kelly picked up numerous senior medals at the English and British Championships and internationally for Great Britain, with the first of her national titles being won in 2014, winning Gold on floor at the English Championships and Gold on Vault at the British Championships.
That year, Kelly was named to the English team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning gold with her team and placing fifth on vault. In September 2014, she was named to the British team for the World Championships in China, where she helped the British team qualify for the team final in fourth place (their highest placement in qualifications), though they finished sixth in the final.
The following year (2015) continued to be another busy year for Kelly, after once again picking up medals at the English (floor gold, vault silver, all-around bronze) and British (silver on vault) Championships. At the 2015 Universiade in South Korea, Kelly lived up the expectations of being named Flag Bearer for the Great Britain team at the Opening Ceremony by winning the all-around gold, vault silver, floor exercise bronze, and placed fourth on bars. This meant Kelly became the first British gymnast ever to win the all-around at the Universiade, an achievement that is still standing today. In October 2015, Kelly was named to her second World Championship Team. In Glasgow, she helped the British team qualify third to the team final, where they later went on to win the bronze medal, their first team medal at a World Championships.
2016 and 2017 were injury filled years for Kelly, but she came back strong in 2018, winning bronze on uneven bars at the English Championships, hitting four clean routines to finish fifth in the all-around at the American cup in Chicago, and then just a week later, she became British National Champion, and won an additional gold medal on uneven bars and bronze medal on the beam.
In April, Kelly returned to the Commonwealth Games. She helped the English team take silver, and individually won bronze on balance beam and placed fifth in the all-around and on uneven bars. She went on to compete at the European Championships in Glasgow, placing fourth with her team and eighth on the uneven bars. She finished the year off out in Doha, competing at the World Championships and making the all-around final, her first world championship final.
Kelly began 2019 in excellent form, returning to the English Championships, winning all-around and uneven bars silver, floor exercise bronze and qualifying for the European championships later that month. However, a few weeks before this event, suffered an injury at the British Championships on the last rotation despite managing to still win silver all around. Four fractures in her foot took her out of the finals and training and competition for most of that year. In June 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, Kelly had a long-awaited surgery on her rotator cuff tendon in her shoulder, meaning more rehab, and was finally able to return to competition in March of 2021.
Kelly competed in the Olympic trials throughout the start of 2021, as well as a return to international competition at the Varna World Cup in May, winning a bronze on uneven bars, however had to settle of the reserve spot for the Olympic team. After a bit of a break over the summer Kelly is now slowly getting back to fitness in the hope of returning to international competition in 2022.
She trains at Dynamo School of Gymnastics under Keith and Debbie Richardson.