Jeanette Kwakye started out in athletics aged 15. Born and bred in East London, she began running for her local club Woodford Green with Essex Ladies. She soon realised her potential and worked her way through the junior ranks to compete for Team GB in her first major junior international in 2002, where she gained a bronze for the 4x100m relay.
Soon after this she attended Loughborough University where she studied Politics and Economics. Graduating in 2005 with a second class honours, Jeanette then focused all her efforts on training for the 2008 Olympic Games. Jeanette’s journey was not an easy one, but it was progressive. She slowly began to work her way up through the international senior ranks and showed great promise in both the 60m indoor sprint and her favoured 100m sprint. Her hard work paid off and she made the 2007 World Championship team to compete in the 100m sprint.
In 2008, Jeanette qualified for the Beijing Olympics by retaining her British 100m outdoor title. She went on to become the first British woman in 24 years to make the 100m final in Beijing, where she placed sixth.
An unfortunate series of injuries were to keep Jeanette out of the London 2012 Olympics, despite maintaining her position as British No. 1 across 100m during 2011. However, refusing to let this hold her back, Jeanette has since gone on to report on sport for TV and radio.
Jeanette is currently the 60m British record holder.
This is Jeanette’s fourth year in her role as Athlete Mentor. She says: “Sky Sports Living for Sport gives me the opportunity to share my story with young people who may never think that success is achievable. I struggle to think how my life would be without doing something that I adore. It has given me vital life skills and experiences that I never would’ve learnt without my sport – I’m excited about sharing these with the young people I meet.”
Follow Jeanette on twitter