Sheffield’s Jess Ennis-Hill bids for glory at her final Olympics

She's only 15 and barely 5' 4" tall but Sheffield's Jessica Ennis is scaling
new heights in junior athletics.

Jessica has made such a big impression that she was moved up to the U20s
category for her Great Britain debut in Bedford and competed against
athletes five years her senior.

In the last five years the talented youngster has spent all her spare time
training at Don Valley Stadium and after finishing ninth out of 20 in the
event's heptathlon it seems the hard work is paying off. 

In the last few months she has represented South Yorkshire in the English
Schools meeting at Exeter, coming second and following that success flew to
Dublin to compete against teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

She said: " This year has been great, an absolute rollercoaster. I never
thought I'd be doing all this at such a young age.

"Everyone at the Stadium has really helped me, I can't thank them enough."

Jessica, from Highfields Place, Highfields, first came to Don Valley when
she was nine.

She soon became part of
She's only 15 and barely 5' 4" tall but Sheffield's Jessica Ennis is scaling new heights in junior athletics. Jessica has made such a big impression that she was moved up to the U20s category for her Great Britain debut in Bedford and competed against athletes five years her senior. In the last five years the talented youngster has spent all her spare time training at Don Valley Stadium and after finishing ninth out of 20 in the event's heptathlon it seems the hard work is paying off. In the last few months she has represented South Yorkshire in the English Schools meeting at Exeter, coming second and following that success flew to Dublin to compete against teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. She said: " This year has been great, an absolute rollercoaster. I never thought I'd be doing all this at such a young age. "Everyone at the Stadium has really helped me, I can't thank them enough." Jessica, from Highfields Place, Highfields, first came to Don Valley when she was nine. She soon became part of

Sheffield’s golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill had admitted switching between being a mum and an Olympic athlete has been tough - but she wants to defend her title at Rio this summer and go out on a high.

The 30-year-old, from Dore, has already announced that this summer’s Olympics will be her last and said she does not feel the same pressure as she did ahead of the 2012 London Games.

File photo of Jessica Ennis Hill with her gold medal for the heptathlon during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, on 04/08/12.  See PA Feature WELLBEING Ennis Hill. Picture credit should read: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature WELLBEING Ennis Hill. UK REGIONAL PAPERS AND MAGAZINES, PLEASE REMOVE FROM ALL COMPUTERS AND ARCHIVES BY 29/06/16

File photo of Jessica Ennis Hill with her gold medal for the heptathlon during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, on 04/08/12. See PA Feature WELLBEING Ennis Hill. Picture credit should read: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature WELLBEING Ennis Hill. UK REGIONAL PAPERS AND MAGAZINES, PLEASE REMOVE FROM ALL COMPUTERS AND ARCHIVES BY 29/06/16

“It was nerve-racking and stressful competing in London because it was my first Olympics. Also, I was competing as a favourite and expected to win, so anything less would have been failure,” she said.

“Although I’m going to Rio to perform my best and hopefully go out on a high, especially as it’ll be my last Olympics, I don’t feel as much outside pressure this time, which is making me much more relaxed.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a great career so far and I just want to enjoy this unique situation which I’ll never have again in my life. It’ll be even more special having Reggie as part of it. It’s great that he’s growing up around sport and I hope it will be a natural part of his life.”

She said winning gold last August at the Beijing World Championships when her son Reggie, born in July 2014, was only 13 months old, gave her the confidence that she could be a mum and a world-class athlete.

Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Jessica Ennis-Hill.

“That win at Beijing was fantastic because it was so hard getting back into shape and training after he was born. I started when he was four months old and it was a shock to realise that, after being so used to my body performing at a certain level, it was going to take time to get back up to speed. It took a year for my body to settle,” she said.

“It didn’t help that Reggie didn’t sleep through the night for the first nine months. We’ve always cared for him ourselves and not had a nanny, so at one stage I was sleep-deprived and questioning, ‘What am I doing? Do I actually want to do this at all now I have child?’

“I realised there was still this other side of me that’s fiercely competitive who wants to achieve and so it’s about trying to balance that with wanting to spend as much time with Reggie as possible.

“One of the great things is that my perspective on life is different now. I’ve organised training around his needs - it’s a no-brainer that he’s a priority - so I go out in the morning, spend the afternoon with him, and then do another session when he’s asleep in the evening.

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill

“One of the bonuses is, if I have a bad training session, I don’t dwell on it like I used to because I’m too busy rushing home to look after my amazing little boy who’s smiling and needing his mummy. It balances everything out and has benefitted my performance.”

But Jess said she does feel guilty for leaving Reggie to train and compete.

“When he was born, my mum said, ‘You’re a mum now, you’ll feel guilty for the rest of your life’, and I completely get that.

“This time we’re planning for him to come with me to Rio which will be wonderful. My family will look after him and I just won’t see him on the days I compete.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill