ANS sponsors UK heptathlete Jess Taylor

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In 2013, ANS committed to sponsoring Jess Taylor, one of the UK’s top heptathletes. Jess is a student-athlete, balancing an architecture degree with over 25 hours of training a week, and has her sights set on the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Jess Taylor seems like your typical university student. An part-time architecture student who loves socialising, she’s about to start work on her dissertation, where she’ll go to a township in South Africa to work on her project. But when Jess references her ‘super busy lifestyle’, she doesn’t mean long nights at the pub – Jess is one of the UK’s top heptathletes with an eye on the Commonwealth Games.

She started running alongside her older brother when she was noticed by an athletics coach, and was competing in sprinting by the age of 11. As a teenager she participated in the West Yorkshire league and the early exposure to different events led her to the heptathlon – a gruelling event comprised of hurdles, high jump, shot-put, 200m, javelin, long jump and the 800m.

She trains in Liverpool with Katherine Johnson Thompson – completing 25 hours a week of technical drills, running, hurdles, plyometrics and weight training – and studies part-time. “Athletics has always been my number one priority” she said, “but I have a head on me and need a backup plan!”

She’s now ranked 6th in the UK and has already competed in two competitions this year, earning personal bests in all but one of the seven events. Despite the success this year, Jess says she’s not satisfied – her sights are set on making the top 3 in the UK in order to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Jess is now an ANS-sponsored athlete, and credits the support she receives in allowing her to focus on her athletics. “Without ANS group I wouldn’t be where I am today. Receiving sponsorship helps with physio, equipment, travel – all of the extra things that come along with being an athlete and that are especially difficult for a student. ANS provides that extra piece to the puzzle that a lot of athletes face when trying to juggle a career in sport and their studies and gives me an extra belief factor!”

ANS CEO Scott Fletcher said, “ANS is a huge proponent of supporting both the community and young talent. We’re committed to training apprentices across all areas of our business, but that passion isn’t just limited to ANS – we also support youth charities in the area and have sponsored a local football team. As a successful student-athlete, Jess is really an example of how far drive and commitment can take you, and we’re thrilled to support her.”