An aspiring athlete has come leaps and bounds by being named the fifth best high-jumper in west Essex.

Year 10 student Freya Henshall, a Year 10 pupil from Epping St John’s Church of England School, first took an interest in high jump during PE lessons last year.

She recently competed in her first County Championships, in Chelmsford, and cleared one metre 43 – her highest jump yet.

She said: “I have done high jump a couple of times this year and about three times last year at school.

“I have always been keen on running and athletics, but one week it was raining and so we did high jump instead. I was quite good at it and really enjoyed it.

“This was my first big competition so it’s a really big achievement. I am hoping to get a lot higher for the district sports competition this month.

“I work on my technique during athletics club each week and my PE teachers have said they are available every day after school to help me.

“It is really good to have them supporting me. They can see my talent and so are trying to help me to reach my potential.”

Tom McGarr, PE subject lead at Epping St John’s Church of England School, said: “The PE department are extremely proud of her hard work and dedication to sport.

“Freya plays in an elite academy for netball and has shown real natural talent for the high jump which she has enjoyed while attending regular extra-curricular sessions.”