Jess set to row for Britain in Munich

16-year-old Todmorden rower Jess Leyden, April 2011
16-year-old Todmorden rower Jess Leyden, April 2011

CALDER Valley has got a new British respesentative in the ranks of rowing.

Todmorden High School pupil, 16-year-old Jess Leyden has been selected for the Great Britain squad to compete in Munich on the weekend of May 7 - 8.

Trials to make the team started in October last years and Jess is the youngest of six girls chosen for the Great Britain Junior Under-18 women’s team.

She struck gold last weekend in the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta in Nottingham representing the North of England in the women’s junior 16 single skulls.

Jess, who rows at Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club and is coached by club captain Ian John, has completed the 31-mile Boston Rowing Marathon.

She rowed with her partner Ashleigh Thornton and they became the second fastest women’s crew on the course, setting a record time in their category of four hours, three minutes and 21 seconds.

Along with a fellow competitor Liz Moore, they raised £800 for Help for Heroes and the Air Ambulance.

In January Jess rowed in the open women’s race at the English Indoor Rowing Championships at the Velodrome in Manchester and gained a silver medal, competing alongside world champion Debbie Flood.

She also rowed in an eight at the Women’s head of the River Race on the Thames over the Oxford and Cambridge University course.