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Jess Slater on target for the Tokyo Olympics

Jess Slater, of Cleckheaton, is adamant that living with type 1 diabetes will not deter her from achieving her Games target, writes Emma Wilkinson

Jess Slater

A diabetic teenager has vowed her condition will not stop her realising her Olympic archery dream.

Jess Slater, of Cleckheaton, is adamant that living with the condition will not deter her from achieving her Games target.

She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes was she was nine and holds firm to the strong belief that diabetes should not hold you back.

The 16-year-old’s skill with a bow and arrow meant she was selected as a member of the Archery GB Northern Performance Academy in August.

Now the ultimate goal is to represent Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Jess is currently focusing on qualifying for the Junior European Championships next year.

She said: “Having type 1 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 to do it, you can control type 1 diabetes without letting it control you.”

Jess’s passion for archery began in 2009 when she enrolled on a beginner’s course at Nova Bowmen Archery Club in Kirklees.

Since then she has gone from strength to strength, claiming first place in the Junior Girl category at the NCAS Junior Inter-counties Championship where she represented Yorkshire.

She is also currently Yorkshire Junior Lady indoor and outdoor champion.

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

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

Type 1 diabetes sufferers rely on daily insulin injections or pump infusions to stay alive.

It is an auto-immune condition which is not caused by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

Jess is one of 400,000 people in the UK who live with type 1 diabetes.

Chris Normington, development manager at JDRF, the type 1 diabetes national charity, said: “Jess is a real inspiration to people living with type 1 diabetes.

“The cure will one day be found, it’s just a matter of time, money and excellent research.”

If you would be interested in sponsoring Jess and helping her reach her Olympic dream, please contact Simon Slater on sdslater@talktalk.net for more information.

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