SOUTHEND High school’s star athletes head to China tomorrow ready to race the very best athletes in the World Schools Athletics Championships.

Both the school’s boys and girls teams qualified to take part after winning the English Schools Track & Field Cup.

And they will now be lining up against 24 other nations, including Australia, Brazil and hosts China.

Bradley Barrett will skipper the boys team in Wuhan and he cannot wait to get started.

“I’m really excited,” said the 16-year-old.

“It was all a bit surreal at first but now we’re closer to it and we’ve got our kit it seems real.

“We can’t wait to get out there.”

Six athletes from each school will be making the trip. And the girls team captain Olivia Sofroniou will be taking part in the competition for the second time.

“I was lucky enough to go to the World Schools in the Czech Republic two years ago so to go again is an incredible opportunity,” said the 17-year-old from Billericay.

“It’s a fantastic event and it’s a real honour to be a part of it.”

The event gets underway on Saturday and runs until next Thursday.