SOUTHEND High School for Boys’ team captain Brad Barrett felt finishing eighth at the World Schools Athletics Championships was a huge achievement for his side.

Southend battled against 20 other teams while competing in China.

And 16-year-old Barrett felt very proud to have been able to lead Southend to an impressive final position.

“As a team we'd all agreed that to come in the top 10 in the world would have been a massive achievement and I think everybody was happy to have placed where we did,” said Barrett.

“Considering the fact we're a small grammar school competing against bigger countries with sporting colleges and the like, I think eighth place is a fantastic achievement.”

Barrett shone in his own individual efforts, including a second place finish in the pole vault after clearing 3.70 mertres.

And he thoroughly enjoyed taking on athletes who had come from a number of different countries to take part.

“To be competing against individuals who have travelled from all over the world was unlike anything I've ever experienced,” said the Southend based Barrett.

“I had expected the competition to be a difficult one and it really was but I felt proud to have been selected to compete here.”

Barrett has now returned home but insists he will never forget his trip to China and the experiences he enjoyed both on and off the track.

“I’d never travelled that far before and it was like a different world over there,” said the youngster.

“Our Chinese team whose job it was to look after us during our stay were so kind and helpful and, despite the competition being very competitive, there was no bad blood and everybody got on very well.

“I made some good friends out there and the experiences I had with my team were unforgettable. “