Jess rows for GB

YOUNG Todmorden rower Jess Leyden has her sights firmly set on a future Olympics and got a taste of what it might be like.

She was a member of the Great Britain girls squad who competed in the World Junior Rowing Championships.

It was held at Dorney Lake Olympic site on the outskirts of London and event was used as a trial run for next year’s Games.

While 16-year-old Jess’s team were unsuccessful in the Girls Quad, she found it great experience.

As a future British prospect Jess is attracting attention nationally and has been shortlisted as one of the 13 brightest prospects in British sport for the SportsAid charity’s annual One-to-Watch Award, a title previously won by diver Tom Daley.

As well as the Junior World Championships, Jess, a member of Hollingworth lake Rowing Club, won the OCS Young Sports Person Award for the North East.

On her nomination for SportsAid’s award, Jess said: “My year has been the best I could have asked for. My dreams really did come true.

“If someone had said to me this time last year that I would be going to Junior Worlds representing Great Britain I would have laughed.

“This year has really opened my eyes and taught me so much about the sport I feel I not only have more support but I have more belief to set more goals higher and higher.

“My dream will always be to represent Great Britain at the World Championships and Olympics,” she said.

Proud mum Sharon said: “Jess is so determined and works very hard. She certainly enjoyed her taste of what a future Olympics might be like.”