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Upminster schoolgirls to represent England in athletics tournament

Students from a school in Upminster have been selected to represent England in an international athletics tournament. 

Six girls, from Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, will attend the ISF World Athletics Championship in Croatia in May. 

But the trip is estimated to cost around £8,000 and the athletes are working to raise money for it while continuing their training.  

They’re looking for sponsorships and plan to host a variety of events, such as a Krispy Kreme sale and sponge the teacher.  

It is partly because the English Schools Athletics Association is unable to provide any financial support. 

“While it is a fantastic opportunity, it is unfortunate that English Schools can’t finance the trip at all,” said Head of PE, Helen Davies. 

Jessica Smith, Alice Brown, Abbie Ives, Sydney Foley, Lola Kuponiyi and Natalie Sewell, who are in years 9-12, will be taking part in a number of events including 1500 metres, 400 metres, 100 metres hurdles and shot put. 

“It was so hard to pick the six but they have something extra special and are highly ranked in the country for their individual activities,” Helen added. 

Lola, year 10, is the all-time number two for shot put in her age group while Alice, also year 10,  is number two in the country for the 800 metres and discus. 

“I think a lot of people don’t realise how much effort these girls put into their athletics. Once they leave school they’ll be training for one to three hours a day and at the weekends they’ll travel all around the country,” Helen continued. 

Coopers is already double national champions and the girls will represent England alongside a boys’ team from Hitchin Boys’ School, Hertfordshire. 

They’ll also take to the stage to perform the Coopers’ Country Dance, normally performed at Christmas, during an event where teams display part of their culture to the rest of the world. 

The team already knows the routine but they still have to teach the boys. 

It will also feature a similar opening ceremony to the Olympics and the group will get to walk behind the flag. 

To donate and help fund the trip, visit their website and check out the donation section at the bottom.

You can also listen to our feature on the girls from The Time 107.5 Sport Show, which aired on Thursday, 14 March.

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