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Jenna Downing

World Champion Sportswoman Appointed as School’s Patron of Girls

Jenna Downing, inline skating champion, will start her role as Patron of Girls at Ysgol Treffynnon with a bespoke aspirational programme for a group of year 8 students.

By the age of twenty-one, Jenna had achieved an impressive haul of medals including ten times British Champion, 2008 LG Action Sports World Champion, and X-Games silver medallist (2002). She was the youngest female skater in the world to turn professional at just twelve years of age, despite being told it was a sport for boys.

Her reputation in the sporting world is renowned and Jenna now works with schools and numerous organisations as a motivational speaker and champion, including the Youth Sport Trust, the 21st Century Legacy ‘Be The Best You Can Be’ programme and Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.

Jenna was contacted by John Weir, headteacher at Ysgol Treffynnon, about becoming the school’s Patron of Girls after being impressed by a presentation she gave at an event. She said: “I am delighted that the school has approached me to work with, and mentor, girls, it’s an honour. I am really looking forward to getting to know the girls and helping them to realise they can be and do whatever they want. By opening their eyes and bringing out their potential, I want them to see the possibilities and be excited for their future.”

Fifteen students will initially take part in the programme which will run through to December across eight three hour sessions. Jenna will deliver a wide range of activities and workshops looking at mindset, health and wellbeing, becoming more active, working together as a team, stress management techniques, and how to work to the best of their ability.

To start, Jenna will talk about her own life experiences, from being brought up by a single parent in a deprived area of Barnsley in Yorkshire, to finding the one thing she loved to do, rollerblading. She will talk about the fight she has had to get to where she wanted to be and to where she is today, including the importance of a good education.

Alongside her sporting career, Jenna achieved excellent results at school, went on to study a law degree and is now in her second year of a Masters in Psychology at Liverpool Hope University.

Mr Weir said: “It’s fantastic for our female students to have such a high-profile role model as their patron. Jenna’s background and experiences are very relatable and the programme she has created will be of huge benefit for our students as they progress through school and into the wider world.

Her website is available here