THEY have created a dish fit to be served to world class athletes.

And now children from Helme CE Junior and Infant School are going head to head with other young chefs across the country to compete for their food to be served in the Olympic village at London 2012.

Seven-year-olds Sophie Ethelston-Clarke, Ben Lodge and Murray Purkis will travel to the capital on Tuesday with class teacher Heather Clifford and educational teaching assistant Julie Smith where they will compete in a Masterchef-style cook-off competition.

Their dish, inspired by Ethiopian marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie, features injera – a type of pancake made with Ethiopian teff grain flour, which is naturally gluten free served with a chickpea and cauliflower curry.

Class teacher Mrs Clifford said: “The children are really excited but a bit apprehensive by the cook-off.

“We are one of 13 finalists, and only four primary schools to have been chosen from 3,500 entries. We could only take three children to Westminster so we had to use a ticket method to decide.”

The meal was specially chosen by the class to include complex carbohydrates, protein and vitamins essential for a healthy athlete.

They made and sent a photograph of their dish to the organisers of the competition which appeared on the official Olympic website Get Set in May.

The competition followed a week’s events in school focusing on foods from different countries. Each of the five classes chose a continent and Mrs Clifford’s class chose Africa for their focus.

Next week they will be taking a presentation board as well as their special flour – sourced via the internet and costing £3 per kilo – to create their dish.

The school is the first primary school in the north-east of England to be accredited by the Get Set network.

This recognises the school’s inclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic values in all of its work.

Headteacher Julie Dempster said: “For a small school, we feel that this is a great achievement.”