Jade was elected as a member of Herne Hill Harriers on 5 February 1993, aged 12.
On joining Jade was first coached by Steven Downes to winning national titles at Sportshall athletics finals, to age 15. Steven then pointed her in the direction of Ivor Northey for her next few years as a Club member.
Such was her prodigious talent, that at the age of 15 Jade competed for the GB U20 team. Jade continued to progress under the guidance of John Herbert over the next few years as an U20, but it was as an U23 and beyond that Jade really hit the global stage.
By 2000, Jade was already winning senior national titles, but it was 2002 that represented a major breakthrough year. In Manchester, Commonwealth Games, Jade secured an excellent silver medal, and within a month was contesting the European Championships in Munich. Here Jade produced an outstanding jump of 6.73m to take the silver medal. She had firmly arrived on the world stage.
In the following summer Jade finished an excellent 4th at the World Championships in Paris, and Jade was a finalist at two successive Olympics in 2004, Athens, and 2008, Beijing, finishing 6th and 7th respectively. Jade’s personal best, 6.81, was also recorded in 2008 when finishing 2nd in the European Cup.
In addition to Jade’s long and distinguished career as an international athlete, Jade has made a significant contribution to the standing of Herne Hill Harriers, through her competing for the Club, her support for our young athletes, including presenting at our award evenings, and as a role model to others.
We are confident that her lifetime commitment to the Club, and enthusiasm and positivity which can further enhance our standing, will make her an exceptional Patron.
As a Patron, Jade stands alongside our existing Patron, The RT HON THE LORD HIGGINS KBE, also a lifetime member and double Olympian. We are extremely lucky to have both in these prestigious positions.
Responding to her appointment, Jade commented
“Having known I wanted to compete at the Olympics at aged 8. My family moved back to London when I was 11 years old. I bothered my mum non-stop about needed to join a running club. Herne Hill Harriers, at Tooting Track, was the closest one, and when I went for the first time I just loved the energy and vibe! It was exactly what I knew would start my journey to fulfilling my dream of making the Olympics!Even when I achieved that dream in 2004, at the age of 24, it never crossed my mind to leave. HHH was always my “athletics home”, until I retired in 2012. So, it is a great honour to be coming “home”, and accept the role as Co Patron of HHH, alongside The RT HON LORD HIGGINS KBE.”