Burntwood Family History Group
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Kimberly BETTS (nee WILLIAMS)
 
Kimberly BETTS was born Kim Kimberley WILLIAMS in Burntwood on the 25th December 1971.
 
At just aged six, Kim took up gymnastics and joined the Lichfield Olympic Gymnastic Club. She took part in her first competitive event when she was just eight years old. She had various trials and at the age of 12, trained with the British squad. Training for Kim was four or five days a week and up to eight hours per day. In her ten years as a gymnast she competed in competitions all over Great Britain as well as in Belgium, Bulgaria and Germany and through her career won 32 medals.
 
She attended Springhill Middle School in Burntwood and then moved up to Chasetown High School. She left school aged 16 and her first job was as an Office Junior.
 
Following on from gymnastics, she took up weight training and she competed four times in the Miss Figure Bodybuilding competition and came second in the British Championship Finals. She also won the Willenhall BB Show, Muscle Beach Open and the EFBB British Qualifier.
 
She then turned her talents to aerobics to help build up her stamina. She was a fitness instructor for eighteen months.
 
Then she became a children’s TV Presenter, presenting the kids show 'Room 785' airing on BFBS TV which is a channel for Britain's Armed Forces around the world. She presented the program for eight years, and during that time visited the British Soldiers at their Base Camp in Bosnia.
 
As well as being known as a gymnast, bodybuilder and television presenter, she is best known as ‘Lightning’ in the ITV show 'Gladiators', and she was the longest serving female star.
 
 
She joined the team in 1992. She became known as one of the toughest and most determined of the United Kingdom Gladiators. Known as the 'Queen of Hang Tough'. Kim, a Capricorn went on stage at a height of 1.70m and weighing 57 kg, to the theme tune of 'Simply The Best' by Tina TURNER. As Lightening, she has appeared in eight series and ten shows. She remained undefeated in the United Kingdom arena and was only ever beaten once, during filming of the first Ashes series in Australia. That loss happened during
the first heat of the first Ashes against Australia's Kerry WARMAN who slid past Lightning and defeated her.
 
She appeared in Gladiators for the 2008 revamp in a 'Legends' special, competing alongside former Gladiators Ace, Flame, Hunter Rebel, Rocket, Trojan & Wolf as special contenders against the new Gladiators all in the aid of Charity. Lightning later returned again for a second 'Legends'  special, alongside Bullitt, Cobra, Rocket, Scorpio, Siren, Trojan & Wolf.
 
Besides appearances on Gladiator, home and abroad, in 1997, she appeared on the television series 'Surprise Surprise!' hosted by Cilla BLACK and then in 1998, she appeared in a television special 'An Audience with the Bee Gees'.
 
In 1994 in Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, in a ceremony, Kim married Francis (Frank) BETTS.
 
In 1995 with Frank, she moved to Spain. They had some amazing times there, and one or two not so good experiences, and eventually returned to England.
 
Just three weeks before competing in the Gladiators arena for the 1999 series, she gave birth to a son, Lexus.
 
In 2004, she gave birth to a daughter Skye.
 
With Frank, she has tried her hands at a variety of businesses, including fifteen years of property developing, renovating, updating and turning property around. But after giving birth to two beautiful Children, life changed for her considerably.
 
Recently with Frank, she bought a farm. Life on the farm is very different to anything else that they had tried in the past and together the family are thoroughly enjoying life.
 
If you have any information to add on Kimberly, please send details to us at enquiries@bfhg.org.uk
 
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