Jen Offord, a 30-year old, self-confessed non-sporty woman, recently challenged herself to try every Olympic sport in one year. She’s become a strong advocate not just for an active lifestyle, but the benefits of participating in a diversity of activities.
Jen confesses that she never felt naturally athletic as a child. “I’m not good at sport and I wish I enjoyed PE at school more,” she told England’s Mirror News. But she was inspired by the London Olympic Games to finally take up a sport. “I was a bit swept up in the Olympics. As I live in London and found it very inspirational. It was such an exciting time.”
When a friend suggested she try them all, Jen accepted enthusiastically. “I said ‘Yes, why not?’”
“I was nervous at first because it’s [sports],” she admitted, “not something I’m normally good at, but most people are just happy you’re having a go.”
Indeed, many people have been extremely supportive of her challenge. After she set up a Twitter account and blog detailing her progress, many people have been very supportive and inspired by her efforts.
Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic gold medalist, first spread the word about Jen’s challenge on Twitter, and many Team Great Britain athletes followed suit, offering their help soon after. Judo silver medalist Gemma Gibbon, hockey star Chloe Rogers, and handball player Seb Prieto even went as far as inviting Jen to train with them.
Jen has already completed over 20 out of the 38 events. A self-proclaimed inactive child, Jen now, claims to be completely converted to an active lifestyle after diversifying her sport activities. “I am a massive advocate of sport now,” she says.