A DUO from Colchester helped Essex scoop 18 medals at the School Games National Finals, at Loughborough University.

Jakub Walecki claimed silver in the boys' high jump, while Ben Hunt was part of the boys' England Blue team who finished third in the hockey.

Thousands of young athletes took part in an exhilarating four days of sport at the 14th School Games National Finals.

It was a multi-sport event that aims to give them the experience and tools to follow in the footsteps of professional athletes, many of which were on campus.

On top of Tokyo 2020 Olympians Holly Bradshaw and Alice Dearing opening up proceedings on the Thursday, Judo Paralympian Chris Skelley visited Wheelchair Tennis athletes on the final day following his successful gold journey at Tokyo 2020.

Competing with regions from across the UK, the young athletes from Essex brought home seven gold, six silver and five bronze medals.

Braintree's Matthew Gardiner was second in the boys' 1,500 metres and was also part of the team that came second, in the Universal Relay.

Jessica Olorenshaw of Felsted was part of Team Sciver who came first in cricket, while Gosfield's Lyncoln Street was a member of Team Athens who finished third in the Universal Relay.

The young athletes, ecstatic with their performance, left Loughborough University on a sunny Sunday evening, clutching their medals along with memories to last a lifetime.

CEO of Youth Sport Trust Ali Oliver said: “On the last day of this long, exciting competition a feeling of achievement was in the air from both athletes and coaches as we reflect on this year’s National Finals.

“It has been absolutely incredible getting to witness over a thousand of young athletes come together following a difficult year for all and perform at such a high level. We cannot wait to see what the athletes bring next year!”