SOUTHEND High School for Boys’ athletes completed the National Finals double for the fourth time in the school’s history.

The country’s best up-and-coming athletes travelled to the Gateshead International Stadium for the annual competition.

Southend High School for Boys’ pupils shone and claimed top spot in the junior boys and intermediate boys categories.

And headteacher Robin Bevan was full of praise for his school’s athletes.

He said: “Being crowned double national champions is validation of our determination for every pupil to have the opportunity to be at their best.

“It is an extraordinary outcome across two decades of success.

“Each competitor learns that sustained training through the long winter months secures results in the heat of the summer.

“It has brought lessons in dedication, self-control and in team collaboration while also having lifelong value.

“Our staff have perfected their motivation and coaching, while the parents provide sustained support. All of the boys strive to be at their best and so success at a national level becomes achievable and sustainable.

“Being called ‘best in the country’ is a well-deserved accolade.”

Steve Thomas, who is head of PE at the school, was pleased to see the pupils’ hard work and dedication end in double glory.

Thomas said: “At Southend High School for Boys, we pride ourselves on working towards a vision and how to treat setbacks as part of a pupil’s development.

“Both teams showed an understanding of the vision and what they needed to do to win.

“They all made sure their warm-up and competition processes were rigorous enough to stand up to the pressures of the day and the maturity shown by all was exceptional.

“I must thank all the parents for their efforts in making sure their sons attended all practices and fixtures to make this success possible. It was a total team effort and I am a very proud man in a very proud department.

“They fully deserve their successes and Southend High School for Boys now have 20 national athletics wins.

“We have won 10 junior boys titles and 10 intermediate boys titles since 2000.”

The double, which was the school’s first since 2015, also allowed Southend High School for Boys to register their 20th title.

And the pupils notched record points totals in the junior boys and intermediate boys categories.

The school’s junior boys’ points haul of 586 was enough to take top spot and beat second-placed Dartford Grammar School by 38 points.

A number of junior boys competitors representing other south Essex schools also stood out.

Westcliff High School for Boys were in third place, on 544 points.

FitzWimarc School and Eastwood Academy were in sixth and seventh place having garnered 496 and 475 points respectively.

Meanwhile, Southend High School for Boys were crowned intermediate boys champions after notching 587 points.

Woodlands School were in joint-second place, on 552 points, while Westcliff High School for Boys took fourth spot with 536 points.

FitzWimarc School were in fifth position, with 517 points, while Eastwood Academy claimed 513 points to seal seventh place.

Southend High School for Girls were the junior girls and intermediate girls runners-up.

A total of 430 points was enough to take second place in the junior girls category, while Woodlands School’s haul of 416 points enabled them to finish in fifth spot.

Eastwood Academy were one place and point behind.

Southend High School for Girls’ intermediate representatives registered 464 points, while Eastwood Academy were in ninth place after notching 403 points.