Sunday, 28 July 2013


                             BLACK            SOCIAL           HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Jessica Ennis-Hill, CBE  born 28 January 1986  is a British track and field athlete specialising in multi-eventing disciplines and 100 metres hurdles. A member of the City of Sheffield Athletic Club, she is the current Olympic heptathlon champion. She is also the former European and world heptathlon champion and the former world indoor pentathlon champion. She is the current British national record holder for the heptathlon, the indoor pentathlon, the high jump and the 100 metres hurdles.

Early life and education

Born in Sheffield on 28 January 1986 as Jessica Ennis, she is one of two daughters of Vinnie Ennis and Alison Powell, and has a younger sister named Carmel. Her father, originally from Jamaica, is a self-employed painter and decorator; her mother, a social worker, was born in Derbyshire. Neither of her parents was particularly athletic, but her father did some sprinting at school whilst her mother favoured the high jump. They introduced her to athletics by taking her to a 'Start:Track' event at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium during the 1996 school summer holidays. In later years she joked that her parents took her to the event because "I think my mum and dad wanted me out of the house!" She won her first athletics prize there – a pair of trainers. More importantly, it was there that she met the man who was to become her coach, Toni Minichiello. She took to the sport immediately and joined the City of Sheffield Athletic Club the following year, aged eleven. In November 2000, aged fourteen, she won the Sheffield Federation for School Sports Whitham Award for the best performance by a Sheffield athlete at the National Schools Championships, where she won the high jump competition.
Growing up in the Highfield area of Sheffield, Ennis attended Sharrow Primary School and King Ecgbert School in Dore, where she did her GCSEs and stayed on in the sixth form to gain three A-Levels, before going on to study psychology at the University of Sheffield and graduating in 2007 with a 2:2.

Personal life

Ennis lives in Sheffield and has a pet chocolate Labrador Myla. She became engaged to long-term boyfriend Andy Hill on Christmas Eve 2010; they married at the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Hathersage, Derbyshire, on 18 May 2013. After the wedding she announced via social media sites that she would be known as 'Mrs Jessica Ennis-Hill'.
She is a fan of Sheffield United and likes to watch television programmes Big BrotherSex And The CitySmallvilleHeroes and 
Ennis is a patron of the Sheffield Children's Hospital charity and of businessman Barrie Wells's sports foundation. She is also an Ambassador for the Jaguar Academy of Sport. She writes a column for The Times newspaper and has been involved in advertising campaigns for Aviva,Powerade, BP, Adidas, Omega watches and Olay 'Essentials', and was featured on the cover of the August 2012 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. In February 2013, Ennis became one of the 'new faces' of Santander UK's advertising campaign.

Coaching and professional support

Ennis's full-time coach is UK Athletics national coach for combined events Antonio 'Toni' Minichiello, who has coached her since she was eleven years old. She also receives specialist javelin coaching from World Championships bronze medallist and European Championships silver medallist Mick Hill. Her other support staff are Ali Rose (physiotherapist), Derry Suter (soft tissue therapist), Steve Ingham (physiologist) and Dr Paul Brice (bio mechanicist). She is represented by Jane Cowmeadow and Suzi Stedman at JCCM. Ennis and her support staff are together nicknamed Team Jennis.

Junior competitions and early senior career

Ennis took part in athletics from a young age. She competed in the high jump and pentathlon at the English Schools AAA Junior Girls in 1999, then won the AAA Girls title in the high jump the following year at the age of fourteen, clearing 1.70 metres. In 2001 she was runner-up at the high jump and heptathlon events in the English Schools AAA Intermediate section and won the high jump in 2002 with a jump of 1.80 metres. Ennis established herself as one of Britain's top junior athletes at the AAA U20 Championships in 2003 as she took the indoor pentathlon title and outdoor 100 metres hurdles title.
Ennis competed at the 2003 World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada in July, where after leading at the end of the first day she finished in fifth position with 5,311 points.
The following year Ennis competed in the 2004 World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, where she finished eighth with 5,542 points, again after leading at the end of the first day.
Ennis won two silver medals, in the 100 metres hurdles and the high jump, at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo, Australia, held in November and December 2004, and won the heptathlon at the July 2005 European Athletics Junior Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania, with a British junior record score of 5,891 points.
Ennis's first senior international competition was the 2005 Universiade, held in August in İzmir, Turkey, where she won a bronze medal in the heptathlon with a new personal best of 5,910 points, behind winner Lyudmila Blonska and second-placed Simone Oberer.
One of Ennis's first victories as a senior came in February 2004, when she was eighteen years old. She won the 60 metres hurdles at the Northern Senior Indoor Championships in a time of 8.60 seconds. Two weeks earlier she had won three Northern Junior Indoor Championship titles: the 60 metres sprint, the 60 metres hurdles and the high jump. Also in February Ennis finished third in the 60 metres hurdles at the AAA Indoor Championships in Sheffield in a time of 8.43 seconds.
At the July 2005 AAA Championships Ennis competed in the 100 metres hurdles, in which she recorded a personal best time of 13.26 seconds, and the high jump.


Ennis won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia with a personal best score of 6,269 points, improving her previous best total by more than 350 points. Her high jump of 1.91 metres would have been enough to take the individual event gold medal. She achieved personal bests in the high jump, the 200 metres and the javelin. Before the competition her aim was merely to score over 6,000 points. The competition was won by Kelly Sotherton with 6,396 points, with Kylie Wheeler second on 6,298 points.
At the AAA Championships in July Ennis competed in the 100 metres hurdles, in which she recorded a personal best time of 13.19 seconds in the heats, and the high jump. In July, Ennis guided the Great Britain women's team to a fourth place finish in the overall competition at the European Cup Combined Events Super League competition in Arles, France with a combined points total of 17,454. Ennis finished fourth in the individual standings with a points total of 6,170.
Later in 2006 Ennis improved her personal best with a score of 6,287 points when finishing eighth at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Ennis produced personal bests in the shot put, the 200 metres and the javelin. The medallists were Carolina Klüft (6,740 points), Karin Ruckstuhl (6,423 points) and Lilli Schwarzkopf (6,420 points).


In January, Ennis set a new personal best of 8.24 seconds in the 60 metres hurdles at the Loughborough indoor meeting, whilst in February, at the UK Indoor City Challenge Cup in Sheffield, she set personal bests of 7.43 seconds in the 60m and 6.19 metres in the long jump.
Ennis finished sixth in the pentathlon at the European Indoor Championships, in Birmingham, improving her personal best score by more than 300 points to 4,716. In May she broke the British under-23 heptathlon record, set by Denise Lewis in 1994, by winning in Desenzano, Italy, with a score of 6,388 points. In doing so Ennis equalled the British high jump record of 1.95 metres and recorded personal bests in the 100 metres hurdles (13.12 seconds) and the long jump (6.40 metres).
At the European U-23 Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, in July, Ennis won a bronze medal in the 100 metres hurdles in a time of 13.09 seconds, behind winner Nevin Yanit and Christina Vukicevic. Later in July, Ennis beat Kelly Sotherton into second place in European Cup Combined Events Super League competition in Szczecin, Poland, scoring 6,399 points, a personal best, beating her own British under-23 record. Ennis also led GB women to first place in the team competition. She set two lifetime bests in the process in the 800 metres and the javelin. At the end of July Ennis won the 100 metres hurdles in a time of 13.25 seconds at the Norwich Union World Trials & AAA Championships.
In August Ennis finished fourth at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, behind the winner Carolina Klüft, Lyudmyla Blonska and Kelly Sotherton, recording the fastest times in the three track events, including a personal best of 12.97 seconds in the 100 metres hurdles.
Ennis finished second overall in the 2007 World Combined Events Challenge, a competition based on points accumulated at any three of the year’s thirteen qualifying events, behind the Osaka silver-medallist, Lyudmyla Blonska. The following year Blonska was banned for life for her second career doping offence.
In September, Ennis won the inaugural "European Athletics Rising Star" Award.


In January Ennis set new indoor personal bests of 8.18 seconds in the 60 metres hurdles and 6.33 metres in the long jump at the Norwich Union International Match at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
At the Norwich Union Trials and UK Championships in Sheffield in early February, which she entered despite deciding not to compete in the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, Ennis finished third in the 60 metres hurdles in a time of 8.20 seconds and won the high jump with 1.92 metres.
In May Ennis withdrew from the heptathlon competition at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria after the first day's events citing pain in her right foot. A scan later revealed the injury as stress fractures of the navicular and a metatarsal of the right foot. As a consequence she missed that year's Olympic Games in Beijing and the rest of the 2008 season.


After a twelve-month lay-off due to injury, Ennis returned to competition at the World Combined Events Challenge in Desenzano del Garda in May, winning the event with a personal best score of 6,587 points, including an 800 metres personal best, also breaking Liliana Năstase's 16-year-old meeting record in the process. Ennis's foot injury meant she had to change her take-off leg in the long jump from right to left. At the UK Championships in Birmingham in July Ennis won the high jump and 100 metres hurdles.
In August, Ennis won the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a personal best points total of 6,731, 238 points ahead of silver medallist Jennifer Oeser of Germany and Poland's Kamila Chudzik. Ennis led the competition from the first event and posted a personal best of 14.14 metres in the shot put, whilst her first day points total of 4,124 points was the third-best first-day heptathlon score ever, behind world record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee and European record holder Carolina Klüft. Ennis's World Championships points total of 6,731, 238 points was the highest heptathlon score in 2009.
To commemorate her World Championship victory, Sheffield City Council held a reception for Ennis in the city’s Peace Gardens, at which she was presented with a Mulberry designer handbag and a canteen of Sheffield cutlery.
Ennis was chosen as the "British Athlete of the Year" by the British Athletics Writers' Association (BAWA) and "Sportswoman of the Year" award by the Sports Journalists' Association.
Ennis also came third in the 2009 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, behind Formula One world champion Jenson Button and winner Ryan Giggs of Manchester United.


In January 2010, Ennis captained the GB & NI team that won the Aviva International Match at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. Ennis caused a surprise in winning the 60 metres hurdles in a British record time of 7.95 seconds, two hundredths of a second ahead of world indoor champion Lolo Jones. Afterwards Jones, who hadn't lost in over two years in her event, expressed shock at being beaten by a multi-eventer, saying; "I’m looking forward to not letting heptathletes beat me when I’m only working on one thing. That’s kind of crazy." At the same meeting Ennis set a new indoor personal best in the high jump of 1.94 metres. At the World Indoor Championships in DohaQatar, Ennis became the World Indoor Champion for the pentathlon with a new BritishCommon wealthand Championship Record score of 4,937 points, finishing ahead of all three Beijing heptathlon medal winners, Nataliya DobrynskaHyleas Fountain and Tatyana Chernova. As a consequence Ennis became the first British woman to win world titles both indoors and outdoors.
At the end of May, Ennis returned to the 2010 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria, where she injured her ankle in 2008, winning the heptathlon with 6,689 points. At the Adidas Grand Prix Diamond League meeting in New York in Ennis set a personal best of 6.51 metres in the long jump.
Ennis won the heptathlon gold medal at the 2010 European Championships with a personal best and European Championship Record score of 6,823 points, eight points short of Denise Lewis's British and Commonwealth Records. Her European Championships points total of 6,823&nbsp proved to be the highest heptathlon score of 2010. She recorded a personal best in the javelin of 46.71 metres.
As in 2009, Ennis was named "British Athlete of the Year" by the BAWA and "Sportswoman of the Year" by the SJA. She was also named "Outstanding Female Athlete" at the Commonwealth Sports Awards, despite not competing in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, won "The Best British Athletic Performance of 2010" at the UK Aviva Athletics Awards, and was awarded the Dame Marea Hartman Award, given annually to the outstanding English female athlete of the year.
Ennis was nominated for a Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year after she came back from injury to become world champion in 2009 (winner Belgian tennis player Kim Clijsters), for the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year, and for "European Athlete of the Year", (both won by Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic).
Ennis came third for the second year in succession in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, behind the winner, jump jockey Tony McCoy, and darts player Phil Taylor.
In 2010 Ennis was awarded a D.Litt Honorary degree from the University of Sheffield for her contribution to sport.


In her first competition of 2011 at the Northern Athletics Senior Indoor Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield in mid January Ennis set an indoor personal best of 14.11 metres in the shot put a record she improved by 50 centimetres a week later at an indoor meeting in Loughborough. Later that month at the annual Aviva International in Glasgow, Ennis won the 60 metres hurdles in a time of 7.97 seconds, again beating Lolo Jones.
At the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships in Sheffield Ennis pulled out of the high jump, and the rest of the meeting, after clearing 1.88 metres, citing "tightness" in her ankle. As a consequence she withdrew from the 2011 European Indoor Championships. The injury was diagnosed as inflammation of the plantaris muscle.
In May Ennis won the heptathlon at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria, for the second consecutive year, recording 6,790 points, 101 more than in 2010 and 33 points below her personal best, beating Russia's Tatyana Chernova by 251 points. Ennis recorded personal best times in the 200 metres (23.11 seconds) and the 800 metres (2 minutes 8.46 seconds).
At the Aviva UK Trials and Championships at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham Ennis competed in five events, equalling her outdoor personal best in the shot put (14.25 metres) and winning the high jump. Later at Loughborough Ennis recorded a personal best of 12.79 seconds in the 100 metres hurdles to place her second on the British all-time list.

Ennis was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to athletics.At the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Ennis finished second to Tatyana Chernova with a score of 6,751 points, 129 points behind the winner and 72 points below her own personal best of 6,823 points. Although Ennis beat Chernova in five of the seven events, her defeat was largely due to Chernova scoring 251 more points in the javelin (52.95 metres, compared with Ennis's best throw of 39.95 metres). Ennis registered personal bests of 14.67 metres in the shot put and 2 minutes 7.81 seconds in the 800 metres, whilst also equalling her best of 6.51 metres in the long jump.
In June 2011 Ennis was inducted into the Sheffield Legends 'Walk of Fame', alongside other well-known people born in or connected with Sheffield, who are honoured by plaques set in the pavement outside the Town Hall. The following month a lifesize model of Ennis was shown at Madame Tussaud's in London.
In October Ennis was voted "British Athlete of the Year" for the third consecutive year by the British Athletic Writers' Association.


Ennis recorded two indoor personal bests at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on 18 February; 7.87 seconds in the 60 metres hurdles and 6.47 metres in the long jump.At the Aviva UK Trials and Championships at the English Institute of Sport in early February, Ennis won the high jump, clearing 1.91 metres, and finished sixth in the shot put, with a best throw of 14.09 metres. The following day Ennis won the 60 metres hurdles in an equal personal best time of 7.95 seconds.
Ennis finished second at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in March 2012, behind Nataliya Dobrynska, who set a new world record of 5,013 points. In finishing second Ennis recorded a personal best and national record of 4,965 points, also recording indoor personal bests in the shot put (14.79 metres) and 800 metres (2:08.09).
In May, Ennis ran 12.75 seconds in the 100 metres hurdles at the Powerade Great City Games in Manchester, beating 2008 Olympic gold medallist Dawn Harper and 2011 World Championship silver medallist Danielle Carruthers. The event was notable for there being only nine hurdles instead of the regulation ten due to an administrative error.
Ennis broke Denise Lewis's British heptathlon record at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria, recording a total of 6,906 points, thus becoming the eighth woman to score over 6,900 points. Ennis's performance included personal bests in the 200 metres (22.88 seconds) and javelin (47.11 metres), whilst she equalled her personal best in the long jump (6.51 metres). Ennis beat Tatyana Chernova by 132 points.
Ennis participated in three events at the Aviva UK Trials at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, winning the high jump with a season's best of 1.89 metres, the 100 metres hurdles in 12.92 seconds, beating Tiffany Porter into second place, and finishing sixth in the long jump with 6.27 metres.
In August, Ennis won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the London Olympics with a British and Commonwealth record score of 6,955 points, beating silver medallist Lilli Schwarzkopf by 306 points and bronze medallist Tatyana Chernova by a further 21 points. At the end of the first day Ennis had scored 4,158 points, her highest ever first-day total, and was 184 points ahead of her nearest competitor Austra Skujyte. Ennis' first-day score included two personal bests: 12.54 seconds in the 100 metres hurdles and 22.83 seconds in the 200 metres. Her time in the 100 metres hurdles was a new British record and also the fastest time ever run in a heptathlon. It also equalled Dawn Harper's winning time for the women's 100 metres hurdles final in the 2008 Olympics. Ennis achieved another personal best of 47.49 metres in the javelin and won the final event, the 800 metres, in a time of 2:08.65.[97] The following day Ennis announced she would not compete in the 100 metres hurdles individual event. Her time in the heptathlon 100 metres hurdles would have gained her fourth place in the individual final, and her time in the 200 metres would have placed her seventh in the individual event.
Ennis, along with other British 2012 Olympic gold medal winners, was featured on a special Royal Mail commemorative postage stamp and had a post box on the corner of Division Street and Holly Street in Sheffield city centre painted gold in her honour. The post box was vandalised within hours but repaired immediately by Royal Mail Ennis was honoured in various ways.artist/cartoonist Pete McKee paid tribute to her in a painting showing her driving an open-top sports car. Prints were to be sold for the benefit of the Sheffield Children's Hospital charity, of which Ennis is a patron. She was also featured on the cover of a special Olympic edition of The Beano as Ennis the Menace. Sheffield United announced that the Bramall Lane stand at their Bramall Lane stadium would be renamed The Jessica Ennis Stand. Henderson's Relish produced a special limited edition bottle of the condiment with a gold label instead of the usual orange. The label also made use of the company's slogan in relation to Ennis: "Congratulations Jessica - Strong and Northern". In early September Sheffield City Council voted unanimously to award her the Freedom of the City of Sheffield. Ennis was honoured on a 'Wall of Fame' in Sheffield Winter Garden bearing the names of sportspeople from the city who competed in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
After winning "European Athlete of the Month" for May, Ennis was selected as EAA "European Female Athlete of the Year" in October, ahead of Anna Chicherova and Barbora Spotakova. Lord Sebastian Coe collected the award on Ennis's behalf as she was unable to attend the ceremony in Malta due to training commitments. In October she was also voted "British Olympic Athlete of the Year" in a public poll run by UK Athletics. Ennis obtained 48 per cent of the vote, narrowly beating Mo Farah. In the same month Ennis won "British Athlete of the Year" from the British Athletics Writers' Association for a fourth successive year,[112] "Ultimate Olympian" at Cosmopolitan's Ultimate Woman of the Year Awards 2012, and also received nominations for IAAF "Female Athlete of the Year"[114] and Sports Jornalists' Association "Sportswoman of the Year",. She then made the final shortlist of three for IAAF "Female Athlete of the Year", alongside Allyson Felix and Valerie Adams. The award went to Felix.In mid August Ennis was welcomed back to Sheffield by an estimated twenty thousand people in Barker's Pool in the city centre. Afterwards a civic reception was held at the City Hall.
In November Ennis was named the Sunday Times "Sportswoman of the Year", and along with Victoria Pendleton and Ellie Simmonds won "British Ambassadors of the Year" at Harper's Bazaar's Women of the Year Awards 2012. The same month, Ennis was one of six women nominated for Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year and was nominated for William Hill "Sportswoman of the Year. Also in November Ennis's long-time coach Toni Minichiello was named "Coach of the Year" by Sports Coach UK, a body that supports sports training across the country. In December Ennis was chosen as the Jaguar Academy of Sports "Most Inspirational Sportswoman of the Year"] and was voted "Sportswoman of the Year" by the Sports Journalists' Association. Ennis was voted into the top three of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the third time, as runner-up to Bradley Wiggins and ahead of Andy Murray. Ennis was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to athletics. Ennis was named as the World Sportswoman of the year at the Laureus World Sport Awards.
Ennis's autobiography Unbelievable - From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic Gold, was published on 8 November by Hodder and Stoughton and the same day she was guest of honour at the Christmas lights switch-on at a charity event at Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which raised over £8,000 for her nominated charity, the Sheffield Children's Hospital Make It Better appeal.In the book Ennis revealed that in 2010 UK Athletics head coach Charles Van Commenee put pressure on her and Toni Minichiello to move their training base to London, but both "believed in what we were doing in Sheffield and ... stayed strong".
In early November Toni Minichiello announced that Ennis would compete in the heptathlon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a competition Ennis has not previously won, having taken the bronze medal in 2006 and not entering in 2010. The same month Ennis reiterated her desire to switch to the 100 metres hurdles in the long term, but added that it would not be before the World Championships in Moscow in 2013, where she would attempt to regain the heptathlon world title.


The year began with uncertainty over the future of Ennis's coach Toni Minichiello and her primary training facility, the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. Minichiello's contract as the UK Athletics national coach for combined events expired at the end of 2012 and was not renewed as he was not prepared to move to Loughborough as part of the organisation's high-performance programme, whilst Sheffield City Council considered closing the Don Valley Stadium due to budget cuts. On 1 March Sheffield Council voted to close the stadium, a decision that Minichiello called 'a hefty, hefty blow' to Ennis's chances of retaining her Olympic title.
Ennis decided not to compete in the 2013 indoor season to concentrate on the outdoor World Championships in Moscow.
At at ceremony at Sheffield Town Hall at the end of March, Ennis received a scroll from John Campbell, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, recognising her award of the Freedom of the City.
Ennis made her season debut at an invitation meeting at Leeds Metropolitan University on 20 April. She won the javelin competition with a best throw of 44.56 metres. An ankle injury prevented her from competing in June, and she pulled out of meetings in Edinburgh, Olso and Tallin. She also missed the British Championships in mid July.

Ennis-Hill returned to action in a meeting at Loughborough where she recorded a personal best of 48.33 metres in the javelin. She also competed in the long jump, reverting to the right-foot take off she used before her 2008 injury. Afterwards she still complained of pain in her ankle.