She inspired a generation with her heroics at the London 2012 Olympics - and now British athletics’ golden girl Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is stepping up her mission to get the nation fit and healthy.
The former Olympic champion, who retired last year, has launched VitalityMove - a joint initiative with medical insurance firm Vitality - to help people throughout the country to meet their fitness goals.
The 31-year-old chose a familiar location to promote the scheme as she joined about 600 runners at the Sheffield Hallam parkrun in Endcliffe Park on Saturday morning, just a couple of miles from her home. After completing the 5k course, the former heptathlete told how she is happily retired and is now motivated to help others to reach their fitness goals. She said: “I don’t miss the competing at the moment because I’m just so busy. Maybe when the championships come around next summer I will do, but I’m happily retired. “The parkrun is a fantastic event, it’s a great concept to bring people together to run to help reach their goals whatever they may be. “I don’t usually run that far so it took me a little time to get into it! But it was really fun.” The Hallam parkrun is one of thousands of free 5k runs organised in parks across the country which take place every Saturday morning at 9am. Jessica posed for pictures afterwards with many of the runners. Runner Wyn Morgan, 52, vice president of education at the University of Sheffield, said: “It is great to have Jessica supporting the event.
“We try and get down here to do the run as often as possible and it is nice to see so many people taking part.
“It’s a great way to start the weekend off.” Jessica was happy to speak to other runners about two events taking place later this year as part of the VitalityMove scheme. Both are designed for runners of all ages and abilities and will include everything from a one mile music fun run to more traditional 5k and 10k races. They will take place at Chatsworth in Derbyshire on July 9 before moving south to Windsor Great Park on September 17. Jessica said: “It’s important to apply a fun element to exercise as it helps to keep you motivated, and these events will certainly have that.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along.”
For more information visit Vitality Move