My name’s Jenny D, I’m a Customer Service Representative for Standard Life, and also a semi-pro cyclist. Well I work in endowments area for Standard Life and basically we’re the kind of front line for all the customers. What helped me get the job in here was the work experience that I gained during, and after I left university. I did health psychology at uni, it served me in other aspects, with my sporting life, but in terms of a career it’s probably not somewhere I want to eventually end up in. I seem to have a bit of a spark from different marketing stuff, so hopefully when the opportunities right, Standard Life will be able to help me shift into the career that I’ve shown some aptitude for over the last couple of years.
I was kind of middle of the road with my grades, I got all the highers that I wanted, I wasn’t a grade A student, I got on well with all my teachers and did all right. At the time I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I worked in the local Spar shop, through until I think I was sixteen. When I finished school I worked in Argos for a year and then when I was at university I worked for visitscotland.com, which was the tourist board for Scotland.
My Mum’s a teacher, my Dad used to be an engineer for BT, but they’ve been very, very supportive of me, but they’ve let myself and my sisters make our own decisions, make our own mistakes. Because I’ve been doing sport since I was a young age, I’m quite a focused individual. I had lots of ups and downs, I think one of the first things the club coaches at my cycling club said to me was get ready to lose a lot because you have to learn your trade with it and the bike doesn’t have any breaks and it doesn’t have any gears and there’s a lot of fast people on a velodrome. I really, really like pushing it on all levels, pushing for success is a big motivation for me. So I went out to Delhi, I set three goals, duo personal bests in the three events that I had, come back with a medal in the team sprint discipline and go fast enough that GB would put me on their squad as a kind of fast-track athlete for London. Out of the three I set, two of them I achieved, one of them I didn’t, but I re-assessed and arranged to do a GB trial with the national coach, six months after Delhi. If it doesn’t work out for London, we’ve got the Commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014.
Well I train six days a week, with one day off and my sessions are, say, forty-five minutes to an hour and a half depending on what I’m doing, so it’s not because I’m a sprint based athlete, fortunately all my events are nice and short!
Right up until, probably, weeks before Delhi I didn’t have any funding, I had a £300 bike that, when I put full gas through, creaked, and I was like thinking, is this going to snap? Once it had kind of been confirmed that I had been selected for Delhi, my company, Standard Life, stepped in and they were able to provide the funding for me to be able to purchase the bike and any other additional equipment that I had, or rather I needed at the time. And the support I’ve had for my own career and my cycling career, from Standard Life, I couldn’t have asked for any more. I get a really good response from everyone in the office and right from, like, people in my office that I work with on a daily basis, right up to the Chief Exec. The prospect of having a Commonwealth Games in Scotland, is huge for all the UK athletes, but the Scottish athletes in particular. There’s going to be three opportunities for me to get medals in Glasgow, and I want to be pushing for gold in at least one of them, so that I can sing the national anthem for Scotland, with a full velodrome with Scottish people in it. So that’s a big incentive for me to stay in the sport.