Richmond Volleyball Club trio Katie Keefe, Martha Bullen and Mattea Goalen carry the hopes of their country when they head to the School Games in Loughborough this weekend.

Mortlake 13 year-old Keefe and Orleans Park School students Bullen, 16, and Goalen, 16, will represent England at the four-day multi-sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes.

Goalen, from Twickenham, said: “The chance to represent my country is like no other. I’m intensely proud and humbled to be chosen.”

They are joined in the England squad by Teddington paracyclist Alex Jones, 18, who is looking to build on his appearance at the Paracycling Road World Cup in Spain earlier in the summer.

“The UK School Games experience is brilliant, travelling as a team and staying in the athletes village, meeting the best of the future from many different sports and backgrounds,” he added.

“It’s a chance to compete in an environment that you would find at a youth Olympic Games – tough, enjoyable and really inspiring, so I will be training hard to give the best performance I can.”

The youngsters will follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars – such as Rio Olympic gold medallist and world-record breaking swimmer Adam Peaty and fellow gold winners Georgie Twigg and Lily Owsley – who competed at the School Games before going on to senior success.