Teenage Cleckheaton archer and diabetes sufferer sets sights on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

16-year-old Jess Slater who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just nine

16-year-old Jess Slater who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just nine

First published in News

A 16-year-old girl who has suffered from diabetes since the age of nine has set her sights on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Jess Slater, of Cleckheaton, suffers from type-one diabetes and must endure daily insulin injections just to stay alive.

People with the condition face thousands of injections and finger prick blood tests to fight against a strand of diabetes unrelated to diet and exercise.

But Jess is not willing to let the condition get in the way of her dream — to represent Team GB as an archer at Tokyo 2020.

Jess took up archery in September 2009, completing a beginner’s course with the Nova Bowmen Archery Club in Cleckheaton.

Now she is the Yorkshire Junior Lady indoor and outdoor champion and recently won first place in the Girl Recurve Under-18 category, representing Yorkshire, at the NCAS Junior Inter-counties Championship.

In August, Jess joined the Archery GB Northern Performance Academy and is now focused on entering the Junior European Championships in 2015.

And the young archer has inspirational words for the other 29,000 children in the UK who suffer from the condition, she said: “Having type one diabetes can be challenging but it doesn’t have to hinder your routine.

“You can stay fit, continue with your favourite sport and not let it stop you doing anything.

“I firmly believe that if you’re determined you can control type-one diabetes without letting it control you.”

Chris Normington, Development Manager of JDRF, the world’s leading charitable funder of type one diabetes research, said: “Jess is a real inspiration to people living with type-one diabetes.”

Ceri Ann Davies, Performance Pathways Manager at Archery GB, said: “The way Jess approaches her training is exactly what we expect from all out athletes in our Performance Academy Programme.

“Jess is a great example of how sport can be used as a vehicle to reach our potential and inspire others to do the same.”

Jess said: “I’d like to thank everyone who continues to help, encourage and support me when I attend my cub shoots, competitions and training.

“A big thanks also to my mum and dad, who are always there supporting me, running me to competitions and helping me manage my condition.”

To sponsor Jess contact Simon Slater at sdslater@talktalk.net

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