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Teenage cricketer Bess hoping to hit them for six at School Games

Bess Heath, the 16-year-old Chesterfield cricketer who has been picked to compete at the national finals of the 2017 School Games, to be held at Loughborough University.
Bess Heath, the 16-year-old Chesterfield cricketer who has been picked to compete at the national finals of the 2017 School Games, to be held at Loughborough University.

A teenage girl cricketer from Chesterfield has been selected to play at the national finals of the 2017 School Games being held this week.

Bess Heath, who is 16, is a member of Derbyshire Ladies’ first team and already boasts an impressive record of success. She scored a maiden century in her team’s final match of the season to help secure them promotion.

Now she has earned her place on an even bigger stage at the School Games, which is a multi-sport event for the most talented school-age athletes and sportspeople across the country.

“I really hope to do well,” said Bess. “My three brothers have been my inspiration from an early age. They play cricket and rugby, and I’ve always wanted to do better than them!”

About 1,600 youngsters will compete in 12 sports at the four-day event, which begins today (Thursday) and is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Bess will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the School Games in previous years before going on to international success. They include superstar swimmer Adam Peaty, sprinter Adam Gemili, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock.

Ali Oliver, of the Youth Sport Trust, which is delivering the Games, said: “This is a great opportunity for Bess, who will get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event.”