Wyre schoolgirl Molly Gowland has every reason to smile – after being selected as an official for an event dubbed the “Schools Olympics”.
Molly, a year 11 student at St Aidan’s CofE Technology College, in Preesall, was chosen as Lancashire’s only Young Official for the recent English Schools Athletics finals.
Molly was one of only a handful of Young Officials at the championships, which took place in Birmingham.
She was nominated by former head of girls’ PE at the school, Sue Garvey.
She travelled down to the event with the Lancashire squad and was responsible for track judging, stewarding and marshalling for the competitors – alongside some of the country best officials.
Her role included placing runners as they crossed the finish line, making sure runners kept in their lanes and keeping a track of results.
Molly said: “It was amazing to be chosen and being there was an unforgettable experience.
“The fact each county only had one Young Official made it really special.
“It was a really good weekend. I made lots of new friends and the experience was brilliant.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable and I feel so privileged to have been able to undertake this role.”
The English Schools’ Championship is thought to be the largest competition of its kind in the world.
There were almost 300 events held over two days, with close to 1,700 athletes competing.
Some of those competing will also be taking part in future World Youth and World Junior Championships, as well as possibly the Olympics, potentially as soon as 2016.
The last British Olympic team was made up of many athletes who competed in the youth national championships.