Bethan makes a sporting splash

Bethan Kelly
Bethan Kelly

AT 15 years old, Bethan Kelly is already a premier performer.

The dedicated canoeist from Hartlepool might only have been in her sport for five years but she is already an international contestant.

And now she’s become the latest entrant in the Pride of Hartlepool competition thanks to mum Lorraine who said: “She is such a dedicated athlete and I am so proud with what she has achieved already.”

Bethan regularly trains seven days a week, and her hard work is paying off.

“She has been on England training camps, she has represented her country in the Pan Celtic Cup, and competed at her first international race in Augsburg, Germany last summer,” said Lorraine, who works as a swimming teacher.

The intricate sport of canoe slalom is divided into five divisions, rising from division four to the Premier League.

But at 15, Bethan is already ranked 13th in the C1 category (where competitors kneel in the boat and use a single blade paddle).

She is ranked 15th in division one for the K1 category (where competitors sit in the boat and use a double blade paddle).

She’s been selected to represent England in the 2013 Pan Celtic Cup in the C1 category and is a reserve for the K1 category.

And she has been selected for the ladies C1 development team which sees her travel to training camps all over the UK.

Lorraine added: “She has worked so hard and she deserves all her success.

“It’s nice to be involved in the Pride of Hartlepool competition.”

Nominations are flooding in for this year’s awards.

This year there are 10 categories in which you can nominate the unsung heroes in the town.

Whether you know a fantastic fundraiser or a community stalwart, we want to hear all about those who deserve praise and have done something special.

Simply fill in the form on this page and send it to us or you can enter online or on tablet by following the links.

Details of how to get them to us are on the nomination form. The deadline for entries is February 27.

Anyone wanting further information about the Pride of Hartlepool Awards should contact the Mail’s deputy editor, Gavin Foster, on (01429) 239372 or email