• Home
    • News
    • The next Jessica Ennis-Hill? Heptathlon star and CurraNZ ambassador gunning for Tokyo

    The next Jessica Ennis-Hill? Heptathlon star and CurraNZ ambassador gunning for Tokyo

    on January 14, 2020

    A determined student has lifted the lid on her unique double life – as she bids for Olympics glory while also trying to complete her degree.

    On the face of it, CurraNZ ambassador Holly Mills is just like any other student at Brunel University, West London. 

    The 19-year-old has 12 to 15 hours of lectures a week as part of her Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate course and her Instagram pages are filled with stereotypical student party pics. 

    But Holly also happens to be one of the hottest prospects in UK athletics – a talented heptathlete tipped to become the next Jessica Ennis-Hill. 

    And Holly has told how she’s working overtime, putting in 35 hours a week of training on top of her studies, as she fights for a place in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. 

    Holly says: “It can be tough at times just to fit it all in as I’m training on average 35 hours a week, then there’s my lectures on top of that.

    “My social life is limited – and yet you learn to work around it.

    Holly, from Andover, Hampshire, was first spotted at a school sports day before she joined Andover Athletics Club. 

    Initially a long-jumper before taking the leap to multi-sport events, she made her international debut at 16. 

    And 2019 has seen her go from strength to strength. 

    Last January she won gold in the Under-20s Pentathlon at the National Indoor Championships with a record points total, won the National under-20s Heptathlon with a championship record and scooped gold in the long jump at the International Mannheim junior gala. 

    July also saw Holly competing at the European Under-20 Championships in Sweden, where she won bronze in the long-jump and placed fourth in the heptathlon.

    Crucially, in the 100m hurdles, Holly produced the fastest ever time by a British Under-20 heptathlete – beating a record set by Dame Ennis-Hill, 33. 

    Speaking about following in the footsteps of her idol, she beamed: “That’s one of the things I am most proud of. It had been quite a difficult transition – changing events, changing coaches and moving to uni. 

    “I had gone through quite a big change, so to score so highly and come up the rankings that much in my first year competing in heptathlon was quite an achievement.

    “I aspire to be like Jess, to be strong in every single event. It makes you unbeatable.”

    To maintain her performance Holly takes CurraNZ, which she says “aids her training” and also helps her to recover after a gruelling session. 

    And she’s now got her sights set on the Olympic Games in Japan this summer as she guns for qualification. 

    She added: “In the long term, I want to go to all the big competitions: the Worlds, Olympics, Commonwealth and Europeans at senior level.

    “With this year being my first year as a senior it’s quite a big step up. 

    “But we’re focusing on putting in some solid performances and if while doing that I achieve the required standard, I will go to Tokyo.”