SOUTH Gloucestershire athlete Adam Wilson has achieved a huge goal by being awarded his first Great Britain vest.

Wilson, 17, has been selected for the UK Sport Association (UKSA) Great Britain team that competes in the seventh Inas European Cross Country Championships taking place in Wakefield, Yorkshire, next week.

The Yate AC athlete, from Bradley Stoke, has been chosen in a six-strong party for the event for athletes with learning difficulties and said he cannot wait to get into action.

Wilson will running alongside the senior men – as there are no junior races at the Championships – over 4,000m and 6,000m distances and said: “I haven’t run these actual distances before but at 5000m my personal best is 17 minutes 29 seconds.”

And Wilson has been hitting the roads and tracks to put in the mileage and ensure he gives the races his best shot when he arrives in Yorkshire.

He added: “I have been training for the track season although I represented Avon at last weekend’s South West Schools Cross Country Championships, finishing as fourth Avon runner and in 42nd place overall.

“I run between 20 and 28 miles a week over various terrain depending on what sessions I’m doing. The training is made up of road running and track work.”

Even though this will be his international debut and he admits to being ‘very excited and nervous about running for my country as I want to do well’, it is all part of the experience process as he hopes to have more cross country competitions this winter and spring before the track begins in earnest.

He said: “As I finished fourth Avon runner in the South West Cross Country Championships, I’m hoping to get selected to represent Avon in the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Blackburn next month.

“I will also be aiming to get medals at various national events this year including the DSE Nationwide Junior Championships, the Mencap National Championships and the England Athletics Age Group Championships. I’m also hoping to represent Team Avon in the Youth Development League and Yate AC in the Midland League.”

Wilson will be joined by brothers Neill and Tony Collins, from Rainham, Essex, twin brothers Chris and Dave Lazenby (East Hunsbury, Northampton) and James Hamilton (Ballyclare, Northern Ireland) in the squad and will be accompanied by manager and coach Vic Collins with team support officer Allan Harrison.

The Championships will be held between February 19-23 at Thornes Park, Wakefield.