A Rutland athlete has been selected to compete at the national finals of the 2017 School Games.
Ben Higgins from Langham has been chosen to take part in the event which is an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes.
It will take place at Loughborough University from Thursday, August 31, to Sunday, September 3.
Sixteen-year-old Ben, who is a student at Catmose College in Oakham and is a member of Charnwood AC, will compete for the England Midlands squad.
He already has an impressive record of success, being bronze medallist at the Midland Championships in 2015, competing at the English Schools Championships in 2015 and being a 2015 National Championships finalist.
Around 1,600 athletes will compete across 12 sports at the School Games, seven of which include disability disciplines.
The four-day event is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
Ben will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the School Games before going on to senior international success.
Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and GB sprinter Adam Gemili.
The School Games are the springboard for future athletes - 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competed at the School Games.
At the event Ben will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. He will live in a dedicated athletes’ village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in an opening ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds of spectators.
Ben said: “My first experience at the English Schools in 2015 inspired me to work so hard last winter to achieve higher, so I can’t wait to get back on the track at a big competition like the School Games.”
Ali Oliver, chief executive officer of the Youth Sport Trust, added: “The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Ben.”
“Competitors get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event at the amazing sporting venues of Loughborough University, and the event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action.”