A WIRRAL student has won silver and bronze medals after taking part in the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.

Laura Knowles (pictured, below), who studies at the Sixth Form College in Birkenhead, was part of the UK rowing team at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex inside the Disney World resort.

Wirral Globe:

Her silver medal in the four-minute event saw her row the impressive distance of 1042m in the allotted time – just eight metres shy of the gold position.

Laura also secured a bronze medal in the one minute row, missing out on gold by only two metres after achieving a distance of 297m.

The Invictus Games were established by Prince Harry for service men and women who have suffered life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible, whilst in service.

The inaugural Games in London in 2014 were a huge success, and the USA picked up the baton for the 2016 event.

Laura, who climbed the winner’s podium on her 25th birthday, is on a pre-degree programme at The Sixth Form College which will lead to a place at the University of Liverpool.

Speaking from Orlando about her success, Laura said: "Standing on the podium was an incredible experience and also a little surreal.

"Every now and then it hits me exactly what these Games are about and it makes me very emotional.

"When you chat to the other athletes afterwards, it's not about the competition: it's about making these new friends for life."

After shaking hands with the Prince of Wales at the spectacular opening ceremony, Laura competed in rowing, powerlifting, archery and the field event against some of the toughest competition in the world.

Laura arrived home just in time to take her exams in the Foundation to Health and Veterinary Studies at The Sixth Form College.

In addition to studying and training, Laura also works for mental health charity, Mind, raising awareness of a cause which is very close to her heart.

Kathryn Podmore, principal of the Sixth Form College, said: "The College is incredibly proud of Laura’s sporting achievements and her commitment to raising awareness of the effects of mental health.

"All of the staff and students at The Sixth Form College are incredibly proud of the success she has achieved at the 2016 Invictus Games."