Norwich youngsters heading for School Games national finals at Loughborough

Ben Bartram and Ruby Bishop are off to the School Games national finals. Picture: PA

Ben Bartram and Ruby Bishop are off to the School Games national finals. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Norwich's Ben Bartram and Ruby Bishop have been selected for the wheelchair tennis 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.

Twelve-year-old Ben and 13-year-old Ruby, who attends Sprowston Community High School, are members of the East Anglia Tennis and Squash Club.

They will both compete for the England White squad at the event.

'Watching Alfie Hewett, the 2017 Wimbledon doubles champion, play at the Wheelchair Tennis Masters was amazing. He's really inspired my training,' said Ben.


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Ruby said: 'The Paralympics were so inspiring for me. Seeing all the athletes doing what they love and achieving so much was great. I can't wait to try and do that at the School Games.'

Around 1,600 athletes will compete across 12 sport, 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.

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Ben and Ruby 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.

Ben and Ruby will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. They 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.

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

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