A YOUNG Helensburgh athlete is making final preparations for the national finals of the 2017 School Games this week.

Ruairidh Scott-Brown, 16, a pupil at Lomond School and member of the Victoria Park City of Glasgow Athletic Club, will join around 1,600 athletes competing in 12 disciplines at the event at Loughborough University from Thursday, August 31 to Sunday, September 3.

Javelin specialist Ruairidh, who has a personal best throw of 52.54 metres, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the School Games before going on to senior international success.

Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and GB sprinter Adam Gemili.

The School Games are the springboard for future athletes: 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competed at the School Games.

At the event Ruairidh will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. He will live in a dedicated Athletes’ Village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in an Opening Ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds of spectators.

Ruairidh said: “I was selected for SIAB Internationals, which is my proudest achievement."

Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Ruairidh.

"Competitors get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event at the amazing sporting venues of Loughborough University, and the event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action today.”