STRATFORD duo Jack Sumners and Lewis Byng have been selected to be part of the athletics competition at the 2017 School Games National Finals.
The School Games are an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes and will take place at Loughborough University between August 31-September 3.
Sumners, 16, and Byng, 15, are pupils at Stratford School and members of Stratford Athletic Club.
Both will represent the Midlands in the athletics and already have an impressive record of success. Sumners is the U16 60m hurdles champion in England and Byng is ranked second in the English Schools’ Athletic Association for shot put.
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.
Sumners and Byng 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, with 56 of the 382 athletes who represented Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having competed at the School Games.
Sumners and Byng will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level and 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.
“I had not been hurdling for long when I watched Andrew Pozzi be selected for Team GB for the Olympics. Seeing someone from my club become an Olympian made me strive to be the best so I can become one too,” said Sumners.
“The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Jack and Lewis,” said Ali Oliver, chief executive officer of the Youth Sport Trust.
“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.”
Tickets for the event are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/2017schoolgames.