Paralympic Champion and World Record Holder, Jess Stretton MBE, supports the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Jess is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health throughout the UK.
Jess is a Paralympic archer, a Paralympic and World Champion and a World Record Holder. She has amassed six World, Paralympic and European medals and represented Great Britain in 2021 at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Jess is now preparing for the World Archery Para Championships that will take place between the 18th and 27th February 2022 in Dubai.
“As a former student, and training and competing with young athletes, I know that many young adults suffer with mental health challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the mental health of many young people and it is vital that they receive timely help to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects. This has been a very challenging time for young adults and students; especially for those who are vulnerable, live with disabilities or who have existing mental health difficulties. We must do more to support and improve student mental health and fitness throughout the whole if the UK and; this is why The British Inspiration Trust exists.
The annual BRIT Challenge is an exciting UK-wide feelgood February fundraiser for every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage their students and staff to participate. It’s inspiring that every team taking part is being invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities.
I am thrilled to be a BRIT Ambassador and use my lived experience to promote the annual BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I urge my fellow Great Britain athletes to join our BRIT Ambassador family so that we can come together and support and improve young adult mental health and fitness in universities and colleges throughout the UK. If ever there was a time when we need to come together to support young adult and student mental health, it is now.
I look forward to encouraging and supporting students and staff at Longdean School, Oaklands College, Hertfordshire Regional College, West Herts College, North Hertfordshire College and the University of Hertfordshire as they take on the BRIT Challenge”.
Paralympic and World Champion and World Record Holder
Jess was educated at Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. She became involved in archery after attending a Wheelpower Junior Games camp in 2012.
She, competing in the Women’s Individual Compound W1 category, made her international debut in 2015 and won bronze at the World Para-Archery Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany.
In 2016, Jess set a new World Record and also won silver at the Fazza International Para Championships in Dubai and silver at the 2016 European Para-Archery Championships in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, France.
Jess made her Paralympic debut at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she won gold at the age of 16. She became Great Britain’s youngest ever medallist in archery. Her fellow team-mates, Jo Frith and Vicky Jenkins won silver and bronze. This was the first time since 1996, that either Team GB or Paralympics GB had secured a clean sweep on the podium.
In 2017, Jess won individual and team gold at the World Championships in Beijing, China. That same year, Jess was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to archery.
In 2018, Jess won gold at the 2018 Para Archery European Circuit 2nd Leg World Ranking Tournament.
Jess switched her division from W1 to the Compound Women’s Open category in 2019, and went on to win an individual silver and women’s team silver at the 2019 World Championships in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
Jess’ career best ranking is No.1 in the World (2019) and she is currently ranked 2nd in the World (22nd February 2021).
Outside of archery, Jess is an avid reader.
In 2021, Jess represented Great Britain at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. She reached the Quarter Final in the Mixed Event and the Second Round in the Individual Event.
For more information about archery in the UK, please visit the Archery GB website.
For more information about Jess and the Paralympics GB team, please visit the Paralympics GB website.