‘Sheffield girl Jess is our inspiration’

Jess Ennis fans await the take-off of a hot-air balloon at Jess's old school King Ecgbert. Cheering on Jess, from left, Ed Surplice, Wayne Fearon, Ian Lamb and Tommie Barker

Jess Ennis fans await the take-off of a hot-air balloon at Jess's old school King Ecgbert. Cheering on Jess, from left, Ed Surplice, Wayne Fearon, Ian Lamb and Tommie Barker

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JESS is our ‘inspiration’!

So said young athletics hopefuls as they watched their idol wow the Olympic crowds yesterday.

The youngsters were at Don Valley Stadium to see the action on the big screen and take part in activities as part of the Sheftival festival.

The venue is also where Jess started her career when she joined the City of Sheffield Athletics Club aged just 13. Fan Ellen Robbins-Wilkinson, aged 10, grinned: “She’s doing really well.”

Ellen said she admired Ennis because ‘she perseveres a lot and she’s worked hard to get there’.

Her mother, Jilly Wilkinson, said: “I think it’s very inspiring for everyone that she’s local.

“She’s doing so incredibly well.”

Jess still lives and trains in the city - ensuring she stays close to Sheffield people’s hearts.

Caitlin Rimmer, aged nine, said: “I like that she’s confident and always tries her hardest.

“Loads of people are supporting her.”

Caitlin Tevendale, who runs with the juniors at Hallamshire Harriers club, said: “We’ve seen her training here a couple of times.

“She just like our role model.”

Hundreds of people are expected at Don Valley again today to watch the conclusion of Ennis’ gold medal bid as part of Sheftival.