YOUNG stars from Epping are set to take part in the biggest youth sports event of the Millennium after a fantastic triumph in the finals of the Essex Youth Games.

Some 140 budding stars, aged under-16, made up the Epping & Harlow team who travelled to Colchester on Sunday.

They were up against 14 other teams from around the county but finished top of the pile to claim the overall winners shield.

Winners in individual categories were the girls under-14 tag rugby team, the mixed swimming team and the mixed tennis team.

They go forward to represent Essex in the Millennium Youth Games in Southampton in August where 8,000 young athletes from around the country will converge for a feast of sporting competition.

The girls rugby players were Emma Naylor, Georgina Gibson, Nicole Millman, Jennifer Anglin, Rachel King, Kate Flavell, Emily Flavell, Isabella Rolfe and Sian Glover.

The tennis players were Rebbeca Nicol, Clair Willison, Laura Evans, Karim Khimji, David Everson and Thomas Foster.

The swimmers were Samantha Clare, Amy St Clare, Elisa Penfold, Jessica Edgington, Jennifer Nieberg, Rachel Purcell, Verity Ellis, Joanna Savvas, Ross Bormond, Ben Francis, Tony Mowbray, Ben Roman, Ryan Murphy, Kyle MacDonald, Gareth Wignall, Ashley Rawlingson, Nick Brucher, Stephen Brown, Marc Belsey, Adrian Constable, Ewen McGuiness, Danielle Key, Alice Ward and Laura Roberts.

Harlow & Epping teams were also placed second in girls football and netball and third in under-11 mixed tag rugby, athletics and football for boys with learning difficulties.

Epping Forest District Council Sports Development Officer Carrie Bywater said: 'It was a terrific day, the young people were fantastic and worked hard for this result.

'We knew we had a very good swimming squad and they proved it on the day. All of the teams and their coaches have put in a lot of very hard work and I think that the three teams going forward to the national finals have a very good chance of doing well there.'