A 14-YEAR-OLD Hagley student will be chasing in the footsteps of Britain's top athletes when she competes at a major sports event for schoolchildren.

Gabriella Homer, who goes to Hagley Roman Catholic High School, will be in an event that has launched the careers of some of Britain's biggest sporting stars when she represents England West Midlands in cycling at the Sainsbury's 2015 School Games in Manchester from September 3 to 6.

A total of 1,600 athletes will compete in 12 sports, including disciplines for disabled youngsters, at the event, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and run by the Youth Sport Trust.

Previous contenders at the event have included Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, world-record breaking swimmer Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, high jumper Morgan Lake and sprinter Adam Gemili.

Gabriella, who lives in Halesowen, will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level for her age, live in the ‘Athletes' Village’ and attend show-stopping opening and closing ceremonies.

As well as that, she will perform in front of a crowd of thousands at world class sports facilities in Manchester.

Gabriella said: “I am really pleased to be selected for the Sainsbury's School Games as the selection process was tough, with numerous riders wanting a place.

“It is a very prestigious event and it was one of my main goals to represent the West Midlands in Manchester this year.”

Alongside the competing athletes, there will be 400 young volunteers.

Young reporters will be among the journalists reporting the action and many of the officials and coaches will also be young people.

Mike Diaper, Sport England director of community sport, said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games is a fantastic event, launching the careers of some of our brightest sporting stars.

“This event is an amazing opportunity for our next generation of aspiring athletes to compete against one another in a fun environment while also experiencing what it’s like to be part of a major multi-sport event.”

Information about tickets for the event can be found at www.2015schoolgames.com/tickets.php