Hi my name is Jenny Stephen. I am a motorcycle trials rider, and a selected member of the British ACU under 23 squad, competing in both the British and European trials championships. I started riding at the age of seven, inspired by my dad and older brother, and have been competing ever since.
Growing up I always played many different sports including badminton, handball, swimming, hockey, cricket and more! At the age of 11 I was invited to join the Kent cricket and badminton county trials but unfortunately, having prioritized my motor cycle trials, I couldn’t commit to the weekend training and games when they clashed.
I have continued to play many sports when I can and currently play cricket in the CCCU Team (playing in Varsity had to be a highlight this year!). I play hockey for the Ladies 1st at Old Bordenians hockey club in Sittingbourne, getting player of the season last year, which was just amazing and a great achievement in my first full season. I also play and coach handball once or twice a week.
At the age of 14, I competed in my first British Ladies and Girls motorcycle trials championship. My first year was in the British newcomer class. It was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. The 7 rounds championship involved travelling around the country competing against the best in the UK.
I continued to compete in this championship the following year, improving at each round and had the pleasure of winning. I was so looking forward to moving up a level to the next route in the 2010 /11 season.
Sadly not to be. At a local South Eastern trial I had what was an innocuous crash resulting in a serious accident. A fractured my hip and my left quadriceps ripped off the bone… , I had 4 days in hospital and 9 months rehabilitation before I could even sit astride my bike or do any sporting activity. I just couldn’t wait to get back on my bike and get active again. After many months of physiotherapy and hard work physical training I could start the long road to recapturing my form. My time injured wasn’t wasted though as I became an expert on crutches and did my GCSE’s !! and started my A levels.
Riding every other weekend at local and South Eastern trials, working hard on on my fitness for the next 2 years, I was able to compete at the British Nationals again, achieving my goal of riding in the Women’s intermediate class.
I came 4th in my first year, which was a great achievement.
Given this, and with both improved confidence and support from friends and family I made the decision to take the step up and compete in the Full European Championship 2015, as well as competing in British nationals in which I came 3 rd rounds across Britain and the IOM after 8 ( still smiling!!). There have been three major rounds, the first being in Pitramurata, Italy in March, I came 4th. It was such an amazing experience and I learnt so much that weekend competing with the top women riders from all over Europe.
The final two rounds were held in Bilstain, Belgium and Grimiialp, Switzerland – both in August. I came 5th at both. It was remarkable, carrying a shoulder and thumb injury. Again this was such an amazing experience and an honour to represent my country, having been selected for the Under 23 ACU training squad. I am looking forward now to competing in the European and, if all goes well in Poland, Belgium, and Germany in 2016. An end to the season on the World stage in Spain is the aim.
At the British and European (International) Women’s Championships I compete on a modern 2 stroke GasGas 250cc Motorcycle.
Alongside my modern Motorcycle riding, I also compete in Europe and Britain on a 1965 BSA Bantam in the pre 65 class. It’s very different but alongside men and women of all ages, usually upwards of 150 people. In the last year, I have completed in Mons and Aywallie, both in Belgium, in snowy conditions. I was chuffed to win at both events. I was the first woman ever to win in my class at both events.
I have been competing in the National Twinshock and pre 65 Motor cycle championship, in which I am currently 2nd overall, with three rounds to go, and top woman in my class.
I am looking forward to starting my 3rd year at CCCU where I am studying physical education and sport and exercise science, and I look forward to the challenges of 2016, including applying for a PGCE!!.
I would just like to thank my sponsors for their ongoing support; Auto Cycle Union, Franc Design Wrks, CCCU sport scholarship, Double 5 Kent Club and Bexleyheath DMCC and Mum and Dad, of course, without whom I wouldn’t be able to compete. Bring on 2016!