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Plane in Spain for 'too young' skydiver

PUBLISHED: 19:41 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 July 2010

Jessica Wall with dad Dave.

Jessica Wall with dad Dave.

A youngster who was told she was too young to skydive in this country was not put off and travelled to Spain to raise more than £300 for charity.

Jessica Wall, 14, was told by officials at Old Buckenham Airfield she could not jump as British Parachute Association rules state a person must be 16 years old or over.

A youngster who was told she was too young to skydive in this country was not put off and travelled to Spain to raise more than £300 for charity.

Jessica Wall, 14, was told by officials at Old Buckenham Airfield she could not jump as British Parachute Association rules state a person must be 16 years old or over.

But, undeterred, Jessica and her father took a trip to Imperia Brava in north-east Spain where the restrictions are based on height rather than age.

David Wall, 41, a self-employed carpenter, parachutes as a hobby and was keen for his daughter not to miss out in a charity event to raise money for a group of pupils from Old Buckenham High to travel to Gambia.

The trip is run by the school as part of its global citizenship agenda but each pupil must raise £2,500 to fund their trip.

Jessica, who lives with her parents at Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham, said: “I was nervous on the aeroplane going up but when it came to jumping out I was so excited. The views were amazing and the instructor let me steer the canopy.

“I was a bit annoyed when I found I couldn't jump in Old Buckenham because my nana was 65 when she did hers and I felt a bit left out.

“Anything my nana can do I can do.”

Jessica added: “I'm really looking forward to the experience of Gambia. There are 14 children going and a couple of teachers and we're going to build and decorate a school for the children in the village.

“We're going to take books and make a library.”

Jessica jumped at 12,000 feet, and was in freefall for about one minute before her parachute opened at about 6,000 feet.

Mr Wall jumped before his daughter as he is not qualified to take part in a tandem.

While in Gambia the pupils will work with the Fresh Start Foundation, which will receive any additional funds over and beyond the cost of the trip. The pupils are encouraged to raise money through various events and so Mr Wall organised a jump for staff and parents and some of the older children at Old Buckenham Airfield this Saturday.

Mr Wall said: “I think it's going to give her some awareness of what life is really like in a third world country.

“I'm very proud of her and what she's going to be doing when she's out there.

“We thought we'd pay for the flight and the jump so all the money will go to charity.”

The school will also hold various fundraising activities including a cake sale and car wash.

Anyone wanting to donate to the cause can email Jessica's parents on laurahwall@btinternet.com

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