RUNNING: HELSBY High are off to Italy for the World Champion-ships with a cross-country team regarded as the best the school has ever had.
A six-strong team will fly the flag for England in the schools event being held next month just outside Riminy.
Head of PE, Dennis Evans is excited at the prospect of his talented boys' team representing their country at Riccione from April 8-13.
The Chester Road school have had considerable success at national level and this is rich reward.
Glen George is the quickest of three team members who have this year broken longstanding school records in the sport.
Mr Evans said: 'Before this year, the all-time record for the so-called double loop was 11 mins 05 secs.
'But Glen George has done 10:27, Lawrence Walker 10:29 and Tom Ward 10:58.'
The three other team members are no slouches either - Peter Robinson has run 11:07, Jack McCabe 11:11 and Steven Ireland 11:20.
Helsby's strength in depth is illustrated by the fact up to 12 lads were in strong contention for the team.
Mr Evans said: 'We had a letter from the English Schools Athletics Association to say that because we have won National cross-country titles at U15 twice in the last three years and because we have come second in the U15s athletics twice in the last five years, they have decided to invite us to represent England this year.
'Morocco won first, second and third last year and we will be facing teams from countries such as China, Kenya, New Zealand, France and Italy - all the big hitters are there.'
'But we will just concentrate on ourselves. The boys are doing incredible things.
'By the time we go, I do believe we will have the best lads we have ever had and whether we come first or last, it doesn't matter.'