A TALENTED pupil from Basingstoke has won the regional heat of a national letter-writing competition.

Jessica Tridgell was honoured during an assembly at Winklebury Junior School, in Willoughby Way, for being named as the winner of the South and South West heat in Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer competition.

All entrants were asked to write to an Olympian, real or imaginary, about “What the Olympics mean to me” and 10-year-old Jessica impressed competition judges with her entry written to late Olympic legend Jesse Owens.

Jessica, from Winklebury, will receive a £100 postal order, a selection of stamps and stationery and will have her letter go forward to the national final, which will be judged by Olympic champion Sally Gunnell OBE.

Jessica could pick up the national prize – an all expenses-paid weekend in London for four people including £200 spending money.

Royal Mail’s Olympic Director Mark Thomson said: “I was very impressed with the originality of Jessica’s letter.

“Excitement is building about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and this was evident from the entries we received.

“Entries had to follow the basic letter format, but we didn’t expect letters to be perfect and, of course, we took children’s ages into consideration.”

Basingstoke MP, Maria Miller, said: “I was delighted to hear of Jessica’s success in Royal Mail’s worthwhile young letter-writing competition. I wish her every success in the national final.”

The competition was open to all children aged between seven and 11.

Runners-up in the heats were awarded prizes of £50 in postal orders, a set of Royal Mail stamps and stationery.