A teenager, who is combating a spine and heart condition for her love of sport, has been nominated for the Merton Civic Awards.
Despite suffering from scoliosis of the spine and a long-term heart condition, Jessica Maclean, 15, from Wimbledon Chase, remains committed to a number of sports including football, hockey, tennis, and athletics.
Currently recovering from an operation on her spine, the young sportswoman is captain of her Nonsuch High School’s hockey team and a member of the U15 Wimbledon AFC football team.
Jessica said: “I just got on with it, I had to wear a back brace for a year-and-a-half, but that didn’t stop me, I just carried on playing as best as I could.”
She said winning the League Cup with her U15 Wimbledon football team-mates last year and being awarded most improved player are two of her sporting highlights.
Diagnosed at a young age with a heart condition, called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), that causes her heart to spontaneously race, Jessica has often found herself rushed into hospital and underwent an operation last year.
Her mother, Liz Maclean, said: “I’m very proud of her, she always puts the best into everything that she does all the time, she’s amazing.”
This nomination is not the first time Jessica has been recognised for her sporting dedication as she became an Olympic torchbearer in July after a school friend nominated her.
On her Olympic moment, she said: “I had to be up really early, but I wasn’t feeling tired, because I was so excited. It was so amazing, I can’t really explain it.”
Looking forward, the committed teenager said she hopes to be back up playing sports in the next few months. She said: “I just want to get back up to playing at my best.”
Jessica was nominated for the sporting achievement award. Since launching last week the Wimbledon Guardian has already received a flood of nominations across a number of categories.
For more information and to nominate your own community hero in the Merton Civic Awards go to our Merton Civic Awards page.