ATHERTON'S Keely Hodgkinson won gold in the girls’ 1,500m at the School Games National Finals at Loughborough University.

The Fred Longworth High School student, who was part of the England North team, took the title in a time of 4:30.00m.

Of her performance, the Leigh Harriers athlete said: “It went all right. I would have liked a personal best but I’m happy to have won it.

“The School Games have shown us what the next level of competition is like.

"The warm up area, the medals, the way they introduce you at the start line is just different to other races I’ve competed in.”

The School Games are an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes, with around 1,600 athletes competing across 12 sports, seven of which included disability disciplines.

Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, and GB sprinters Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith.

The School Games are the springboard for future athletes with 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having competed at the School Games.

The four-day event is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.