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Gorleston golden girl Jessica-Jane Applegate swaps the pool for a parlour

PUBLISHED: 22:37 03 August 2014 | UPDATED: 22:37 03 August 2014

Jessica-Jane Applegate with Bella the dog at the college. Picture: submitted

Jessica-Jane Applegate with Bella the dog at the college. Picture: submitted

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Paralympian golden girl Jessica-Jane Applegate has dived head first into a new venture after embarking on a college course.

Jessica-Jane Applegate with shaggy friend Bronson at the college. Picture: submitted Jessica-Jane Applegate with shaggy friend Bronson at the college. Picture: submitted

The Gorleston swimmer has swapped the pool for a parlour to study dog grooming, the career she wants to take on after hanging up her swimsuit, and is enjoying being surrounded by furry friends.

The 17-year-old is pursuing her passion for pets at Easton and Otley College in Norwich as she continues to compete on the world and European stage.

Her one day a week NPTC level two certificate course 
fits around her intensive training.

Jessica-Jane said: “I don’t have much free time, but I love dogs and have always had dogs. They make the best friends and never judge you.

“Ultimately I want to work with animals when my sporting career is over but at the moment I am training for the 2014 Europeans, the Worlds in 2015 and Rio 2016.”

Jessica-Jane was one of the stars of London 2012, 
winning gold in the 200m freestyle S14 class at the Paralympics.

As well as swimming and studies, the teen is an ambassador for Norwich City Sports Foundation and 
Mencap, and passes on her sporting knowledge to youngsters at schools around the area.

John Nice, college spokesman, said: “It’s unusual to have a sporting star on a non-sporting course, so we are honoured to have a Paralympic gold medal winning athlete and delighted Jessica-Jane is enjoying the course.”

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