Sporty Jess is happy to show up the boys
A sporty teenager has been nominated for a Leicester Mercury Young Achiever of the Year Award.
Jess Martin, 16, from Netherhall, Leicester, said she had wanted to show the boys a thing or two as the only girl on her sports BTEC course last year.
Her dedication has earned her a nomination for our awards, which will recognise hard work and commitment.
The youngster completed the BTEC level two at Hamilton College and moved this month to Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College, in the city, to continue her passion for all things athletic.
She is studying for a BTEC level three in sport and has already joined the netball team.
She learned of her nomination this week.
"I was a bit shocked when I found out – I didn't expect anyone to nominate me," Jess said.
"I think sport is a great way of meeting people and, of course, keeping fit.
"I've made loads of friends through sport, through teams and playing at school."
She was nominated by her Hamilton College PE teacher James Partridge.
He said: "Jess contributed so much to PE and sport during her time at Hamilton.
"She was always there to help and support the department.
"Having done BTEC Sport for the past two years, she has been an absolute pleasure to teach."
Jess said being the only girl on the BTEC course "was a bit weird at first".
She said: "But once I got used to it, I just tried to show the boys up – it didn't always work, but it was fun.
"I think it's very important to encourage others to take up sport and it's a great way of bringing people together."
Jess said the highlight of the summer was watching the Olympics.
"There were so many role models, it's hard to pick just one," she said.
"I loved Usain Bolt. I think he's absolutely amazing – the relay final was really exciting to watch.
"The best thing about the Olympics is how it has inspired loads of people to try sports they wouldn't normally have a go at."
The Sport Achievement category of our awards has been sponsored by Longslade Community College, in Birstall.
Sally Wicken, assistant principal, said: "Although we are not a sports college, we host the South Charnwood School Sport Partnership, which has effectively worked with 24 schools in developing physical education and sport over the past seven years.
"We are proud to be able to sponsor this award. Physical education can transform a young person's life.
"The lessons that can be learnt from sport are amazing. Our Olympics are testament to this.
"I know in future young people will strive to have a physically active lifestyle and be involved in sports.
"Our job as professionals is to create these opportunities so that they can."