A future Olympic hopeful is taking the next step in her sporting career by representing Essex in athletics.

Jess Hopkins, 14, has made it into the Essex team of four in the National Combined Events Championships in Exeter in September.

She will be competing in the pentathlon and will be one of 270 athletes from around the country taking part.

The Year 9 student from Maltings Academy, in Witham, has also got through to the English Schools’ Athletic Association National Championships – the fourth largest athletics event in the world.

Jess helps to run sport clubs at the school and trains at Chelmsford Athletics Club.

She earned her place in the contest in shot put, throwing it 11.44m- the target distance was 11.20m.

She will now be heading to Gateshead International Stadium with the rest of the Essex county team.

The sport star, who is already number four in the country for pentathlon, said: “It’s all really exciting stuff.

“I’ve always loved sport- I started out with basketball and went on to athletics.

"I will keep entering these competitions and see where it takes me.

"I really would like to make it to the Olympics, that’s the big dream.”

Her sporting talent was spotted when she arrived in Year 7 of Maltings – helping her school to win an east of England basketball tournament.