Long-jumper heading to ‘School Olympics’

Charlotte Kessell, 15, is representing the North East in the long jump at the 2012 School Games. (S)
Charlotte Kessell, 15, is representing the North East in the long jump at the 2012 School Games. (S)
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A 15-year-old long-jumper is preparing to represent her region in the equivalent of the Olympic Games for UK schools.

Charlotte Kessell, who attends Queen Mary’s School at Baldersby Park, near Thirsk, is taking part in the 2012 School Games in London, which run from May 6 - 9.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and hugely exciting,” said the deputy head girl who will be staying in the Olympic Village for the competition when she represents the North East.

“To go to the Olympic Park will be just amazing.”

Charlotte, who is also head of athletics at the school, will be competing in the under-17s section at the national event.

She trains up to three times a week and recently became the North East Pentathlon champion, improving her long jump best to 5m 37cm.

Her coach, Rick Betts, said: “鼎Charlotte is a very gifted athlete who works hard and is totally determined to succeed. She has the ability to pick up new techniques quickly to help her improve and is very, very focused.”

Charlotte, who is studying for 11 GCSEs, is also the North East outdoor long jump champion as well as the region’s indoor long jump champion.

The School Games will feature around 2,000 young people from eight teams across England, Scotland and Wales competing in a total of 12 sports.