Our South Yorkshire Golden Girl - Jessica Ennis

Now one of the most high profile celebrities in the UK, Jessica Ennis is as down to earth as ever when I meet at her at Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

Jess spent the day in the centre to launch her book ‘Unbelievable: From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic Gold’ — signing copies and greeting her fans, followed by an appearance on stage in front of 15,000 spectators who turned out in force to catch a glimpse of the heptathlon champion.

JESSICA FOGARTY speaks to Golden Girl Jessica Ennis to find out how her life has changed since winning gold last summer...

Q Why did you decide to write a book?

A I’d never thought about writing a book, but I'm so glad I have. So much has happened in the past year alone and I don’t want to forget a single thing.

I decided to write it down so I'll have the memories forever.

I was adamant I launched the book in Sheffield too. This is where I've grown up, where I studied and trained, so I had to start my launch here.

Q Have you returned to some normality now you’re back home in Sheffield?

A Kind of — I’m trying to relax and get on with everyday tasks like I did before, but now I get recognised everywhere I go.

Everyone is so lovely and wants to congratulate me on my gold medal and wish me well, but I'm still not used to the attention.

I’ll be walking down the street and people will be whispering my name or some people will just stop, point and shout ‘Jessica Ennis’ in my face.

Q Are you training again?

A I’ve had a much needed break but now I'm starting to build up my training routine again ready for the World Championships next year. I train in four week blocks, even through Christmas, but I do let myself have a day off. December 2012 was the first time I'd ever cooked a Christmas dinner, or should I say attempted, but I do love my food so I'll eat whatever I like on Christmas Day and burn it off in training on Boxing Day.

Q You are a patron of the Children's Hospital Charity, whom supports and enhances the work of The Children's Hospital in Sheffield. How much involvement do you have with the charity?

A I try to dedicate as much time as possible to the charity, but obviously with my training schedule and events it’s not always easy.

I visit as often as possible, and the Pete McKee painting of me and the special edition Henderson's Relish Gold with my name on the front really helped to boost fund-raising for the charity; as they both made donations and helped to spread the word.

I get approached by hundreds of charities but I do have to say no sometimes. I wouldn't want to say yes to a charity only to let them down. I’d rather dedicate the time I do have to local charities close to my heart.


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