IF GOOD wishes can win it, she’s sure to bring home the gold.
Sheffield’s own golden girl Jessica Ennis goes for glory in the Olympics today and tomorrow - safe in the knowledge she has all of her home city willing her on.
Well-wishers united today to cheer Jess to success, with messages of support from civic dignitaries, fellow sporting stars, and thousands of fans.
Kaye Pigott, manager of Jess’ local The Millhouses, summed up the mood of the city.
“To think someone from this area, who has been in our pub, has the chance to win an Olympic gold medal is fantastic,” she said.
“Jess is making Sheffield, and Great Britain, proud.”
JESSICA Ennis takes to the athletics track today as she competes at the Olympics - and all of Sheffield will be cheering her on.
Jess will be taking part in the women’s heptathlon events at London 2012, due to get under way this morning and is hoping her years of preparation pay off with a gold medal win.
The city’s civic leaders, top sporting figures and Ennis fans all told The Star they’ll be backing the Olympic contender, and gave words of encouragement to the athletics star.
Former sports minister Richard Caborn said Jess will be ‘giving everything she’s got’.
“Everybody is rooting for Jess and everybody in Sheffield knows she will give her best,” Mr Caborn said.
“She’s an icon and everybody loves her. She’s an inspiration for all our youngsters as well, especially all the kids on Saturday mornings who go to see her training at Don Valley stadium, including my three grandchildren.”
Mr Caborn added Jess will have to keep calm in the face of huge pressure to win gold for the Great Britain team.
“Everywhere you go in the world you see Jessica Ennis - she’s the face of the Olympics. That in itself brings real pressure, but no doubt with the type of support she has she will do her best.
“Jess also has a brilliant coach in Tony Minichiello - he’s been a bedrock for her. You never know what’s going to happen, we’ve seen the best-prepared fall, but I know she will do everything possible to win that gold.’’
Brendan Ingle, who runs boxing gym St Thomas’s Boys and Girls Club in Wincobank, said he thought Jess’s progress has been ‘absolutely fantastic’.
“Everybody down here at our gym and everybody in Sheffield is behind her and wishing her all the best. She’s a wonderful person,” he said
He also said he approved of the huge Sheftival event, taking place at the Don Valley Stadium tomorrow and Sunday. Visitors can enjoy live bands and sporting demonstrations, as well as watching Jess in action on a big screen.
“Sport and music brings everyone together,” he said. “People are coming from all over the place to Sheffield. ”
Meanwhile, Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said Jess will ‘give 110 per cent’ to win a heptathlon medal.
“She’s been at the forefront of Team GB’s whole effort, and we’ll all be cheering her on,” Mr Blomfield said.
“She’s shown she has been able to respond to the pressure already, but at the same time stay very rooted. It’s just extraordinary to pluck someone out of a very ordinary life at school to be one of the world’s biggest superstars.
“She’s an advert for all that’s great about Sheffield.”
Sporting fans have also been backing Jess on The Star’s Facebook page.
Lynn Carnall wrote: “The whole of South Yorkshire is behind you Jess - go girl, we know you can make us proud. Bring a gold back for yourself, your family, and for Sheffield.”
And Joanne Joel said: “Good luck Jess, we will all be watching love, do yourself proud.”
Supporters also showed their support on Twitter.
Karen Hague, who manages Sheffield charity Paces, said: “Jess, you’ll do your best, it’s the only thing within your power to do. Hope it is your personal best ever and wins a medal!”
Jane Sanderson also said Jess should ‘go gracefully for gold’. Members of the recently formed Totley Brook Estate Tenants’ and Residents’ Association collected good luck messages. Jess attended nearby King Ecgbert School when she was younger.