THE Gregg School’s Serena Vincent is heading to Loughborough University this week for the 2017 School Games National Finals (August 31-September 3).

Bursledon’s rising 15-year-old shot put star will compete for the South squad in athletics, having recently represented England in the Commonwealth Youth games.

The School Games are a proven springboard for aspiring, young athletes with 56 of the 382 athletes that represented Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio having previously taken part.

Past competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and GB sprinter Adam Gemili.

Vincent will stay in a dedicated athletes’ village on the university campus, take part in the opening ceremony and perform in front of a huge crowd of spectators.

Around 1,600 athletes will compete across 12 sports at the School Games, 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.

Vincent, a member of the City of Portsmouth club, sits second in the national under-17 women’s rankings with a personal best of 15.50 metres.

“The first time I threw over ten metres at an U13 competition is what inspired me to keep going. That’s when I first realised I was actually quite good at shot put,” she smiled.

Tickets for the event are available at