A Blackpool squash player is to represent the North West at the British Colleges sport finals in Loughborough in April next year.

Zara Walsh, 18, who is studying a foundation degree in sports coaching at Preston College, beat off strong competition to take the North West ladies’ squash title.

More than 200 students from 14 colleges in the North West descended on Preston for the annual North West Colleges Volleyball and Squash Tournament.

The ladies’ volleyball team, which comprises six sports diploma students, came fourth on the day and the eight-strong men’s volleyball team were joint fifth.

David Hayhurst, a sports lecturer at the college, said: “It was great to welcome so many talented young players to the college and all the competitors entered into the spirit of the tournament.

“The Preston College students put up very strong performances and we are delighted with Zara’s success in the ladies’ squash. We will be watching her progress eagerly as she prepares for the national finals in the spring.”