Teenager Jess is ready to hit her target at World Junior Games

Jess Stretton has been training at the Wheelpower Junior Sports Camp at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Picture (c) Roger Bool
Jess Stretton has been training at the Wheelpower Junior Sports Camp at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Picture (c) Roger Bool

A teenage archer from Hemel Hempstead has been selected to compete for Britain in an international competition at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.

Jess Stretton, 14, is the youngest of eight in the GB squad and she will be hopeful of continuing her form from the Junior Nationals at Lilleshall where she claimed six gold end badges and a gold cross for her score.

Jess, who first found archery at WheelPower’s Junior Sports Camp at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, will hope the World Junior Games is the start of success at the highest level.

She said “My future ambitions in sport are to someday go to the Paralympics; I am hoping for Tokyo 2020 as I feel I will be good enough then and will have had enough training and time to prepare for it.”

The World Junior Games will welcome 300 young disabled athletes from 32 countries.

They will compete in seven sports: archery, athletics and race running, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. Para-Taekwondo will also be included as an exhibition sport.

Fresh from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are Meggan Dawson-Farrell and Lauren Rowles who line up in the T54 400m, 800m and 1500m, while Will Smith will race in the mens 800m and 5000m.

The junior track athletes will take inspiration from Paralympic and World Champion Hannah Cockroft, who won two gold and two silver medals at the IWAS World Junior Championships in 2011.

GB Chef de Mission and WheelPower’s inclusive sport advisor Steve Snelling said: “The IWAS World Junior Games are a great opportunity for developing athletes to experience the demands of international competition amongst some of the world’s best young athletes.

“WheelPower are delighted to support the team on their road to sporting success. The team were selected on their potential, and for many the IWAS World Junior Games could prove to be a crucial step on their journey to Paralympic glory at Rio 2016 or Tokyo 2020.”