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Giggling grace, 3, crowned world puddle jumping champion

A three-year-old girl from Northampton has been crowned World Puddle Jumping Champion 2021 after giggling her way to victory.

Grace Crouch, 3, made a splash with judges of the annual event, organised by Wicksteed Park, Kettering, which again attracted hundreds of online entries from around the world.

Competitors taking part in the ninth annual event, held during the October half term holidays, were asked to submit videos or photos of themselves jumping in puddles they’d made or found themselves.

They were also invited to use any naturally-formed puddles they found while walking around the Kettering park.

Grace narrowly beat off competition from Jake Watts, 10, from Desborough, who finished second and Jack Abbott, 8, from Nuneaton, who was awarded third prize.

Judges also gave a Special Achievement Award to Ben King and his son Cassius, four, from Northampton, for their joint entry – Ben holding Cassius in his arms while they jumped.

Grace’s prize will include a new pair of wellies and a raincoat donated by clothing and footwear company Joules. Her mum, Rachel, said: “Grace is so delighted to have won. She just loves jumping in puddles, and Peppa Pig certainly has a lot to answer for!

“Whenever we go out she is always looking for puddles and she makes such big splashes that I often end up getting covered in mud too.”

Judges marked entries on things such as the height of the jump, enthusiasm, distance of splash and stickability (the amount of mud which clings to each competitor).

Wicksteed Park Head of Sales and Marketing Rachel James said: “We have so much fun with this event each year and judging is very tough, but also hilarious, as we look at all the entries.

“As always we had some amazing competitors and the event has certainly been a great way of encouraging people to get out and about in the fresh air and have fun.

“One of the things which the judges were looking for was enthusiasm and that, coupled with her infectious giggle and the muddy splat she made were the reasons that Grace just edged first place.”

Wicksteed Park was founded by Charles Wicksteed, the inventor of the modern-day slide and swing, to encourage families to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle and get out into the fresh air.

Wicksteed Park - world puddle jumping champion
Wicksteed Park - world puddle jumping champion

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