Marshland High West Walton pupil Anya from Wisbech picked for national finals

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Anya Falkus from Wisbech has been selected to be part of the Swimming squad 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 from August 31 to September 3.

The 15-year-old, who is a student at the Marshland High School in West Walton and is a member of the Wisbech Swimming Club, will compete for the England East squad in swimming.

She already has an impressive record of success: Anya has a personal best of 32 seconds for the 50m freestyle and is ranked second in the country for the 100m butterfly.

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.

Anya 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 Anya will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. She 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.

“During the London 2012 Olympics I was able to meet and train with some of the Paralympic swimmers,” said Anya.

“If I hadn’t have lost my eyesight I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete in a huge sporting event like the Paralympics one day.”

“The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Anya,” says 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 Loughborough University. The event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action today.”

Tickets for the event are available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/2017schoolgames