Gifted Grace from Saltfleet is UK youth silks champ again

Grace McDowall, (11), retains her Youth Silks title in the UK Aerial Performance Championships. Photo credit: Simon Hutchinson.
Grace McDowall, (11), retains her Youth Silks title in the UK Aerial Performance Championships. Photo credit: Simon Hutchinson.

A gracious and gifted 11-year-old girl from Saltfleet has again retained her title of being the top UK youth silks champion - and is performing at the circus this weekend.

Grace McDowall recently competed in the UK Aerial Performance Championships at Russell's International Circus Big Top that has been based in Trusthorpe over the summer.

In her second year, Grace defended the youth silks title and came away with the win once again.

But with the competition and expectation highter, than ever before, Grace was delighted to have retained her title.

"Competing this year was much scarier," Grace said.

"I had won my category last year and people this year expected much more from me and I've not had as much time to train due to school SAT exams."

But Grace added that she was really surprised and pleased when it was announced that she had won the title again this year.

The UK Aerial Performance Championship is one of the only national competitions specialising in the aerial arts.

Now in its third year, the championships saw over 160 people compete across multi categories and even had international competitors entering via video submission.

Grace's growing talents have also been spotted on a national level after she was filmed and featured on Trans World Sports, which was broadcast earlier this month.

And her success story continues this weekend as she has also been asked to perform in a show at Russell's International Circus being held in Cleethorpes on Saturday (September 23).

Grace started training in aerial arts when she was seven - mainly as her mum, Emma Nicholls runs a circus school in Louth, Freestyle Fitness.

The aerial arts world is certainlty a family affairs, Grace has two other sisters who also enjoy training the discipline.

The family are very close and it is a great opportunity for them to all to spend time together.

Grace's older sister Kaiya Plant, (20), a local photographer, also placed in the top three of her category and competed on trapeze in the amateur open section of the final and went on to win - landing her the UK amateur open title.

1 If you missed, Grace with Trans World Sports - then you can watch it again by visiting: https://youtu.be/Xl_pNxJspzY.