A RISING young rugby player from Chichester has set her sights on the 2016 Olympic Games.
Jess Breach, who has played rugby since the age of seven, has been accepted into the England Women’s Development Academy training programme and has set her sights even higher.
The 15-year-old, who is also a keen athlete for Sussex, has attended a couple of training camps and uses the Twickenham gym to get advice on nutrition and training techniques.
She started off playing for Chichester in both mixed and boys’ sides, before seeking all-girls’ rugby and joining South Sussex Barbarians, based at Brighton Rugby Club, three seasons ago.
Breach already represents the county, captaining the Sussex under-15 side, and last year she was selected to play for the London south east division. Following a series of matches the selectors choose 24 girls as part of the England development group.
Her ambition is to join the team for the 2016 Olympics which will feature rugby sevens.
Breach said: “I hope that if I put the work in I can go far in rugby, representing my county in Rio would be very important to me.
“My brother played the sport and I watched his games when I was younger and this along with being encouraged by my dad were the main reason I took up the sport.
“I started playing at a young age and have enjoyed playing. The social and fitness aspects are reasons I love the game and have been playing for so long.”
“It’s a fun sport so I would definitely encourage other young athletes to take part in the game as much as they can.”
Breach attends Lavant House School in Chichester and her PE teacher Claire Cobden was full of praise for her student.
She said: “Jess’s ability is above average for her age and she stood out from the moment I started working here.
“If a student has sporting ambition outside of school we encourage them as much as we can to take part in the clubs we run at the school.”
The young rugby player is currently also a stand-out star for Sussex, as shown in their recent 53-17 win over Middlesex in which she scored four tries.
Breach hopes to emulate the success of the athletes who competed in the London games, and as she is already showing great potential at her young age, she has a great chance of achieving her ambitions.
Jess’ father John said: “We are very proud of all Jessica’s achievements and how hard she trains and supports her team-mates and fellow competitors.”