GREAT Britain star Matt Jump is targeting Olympic glory at the London 2012 Games – and he’s doing it for his hometown.
Jump, 23, from Winnington, is one of the top five athletes in the country in his newly chosen sport and is hoping to become a national star.
The former Hartford High School pupil used to row for Northwich RC and applied to join Steve Redgrave’s Sporting Giants school but was surprisingly rejected.
But, due to his test results being made available to all Olympic teams, Britain’s canoeing bosses earmarked Jump as a potential star.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Having impressed on training camps and in trials, Jump is now based at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham as part of the 2012 GB squad.
He will travel to Seville in March for an intensive training camp and in April faces his first competitive test of 2009 in a national regatta at Nottingham which doubles up as GB selection trials.
And Jump was back training on the River Weaver over Christmas as he continues his recovery from a back injury.
“I slipped three discs and was in quite a lot of pain,” he said. “But with the team of doctors, physios and medical staff available, my recovery is pretty quick.
“I have been back at Northwich to continue my training over Christmas and have been using LA Fitness, who have been really supportive, to help maintain my regime.”
Jump, who paddles his single-man canoe kneeling on one knee, competes over 1,000m of flat water and is hoping for success at Eton College’s Dorney Lake venue in 2012.
And having been raised in Northwich and being a close friend of Olympic silver-medal winning rower Matt Langridge, he knows his success will be the talk of the town.
“Coming from Northwich and being a professional athlete is pretty special,” he said. “I don’t get much chance to come home so if I can follow my dream and be successful then it will be for all my friends and family.
“I have lived in Northwich pretty much all my life so I’d like to try and make everyone proud.”