OLYMPIC athletes push their bodies to the absolute limit – the sweat, pain and tears are far from glamorous, but they still need a bit of pampering.

And that’s where Chanelle Hewitt and Jessica James, both 19, from Basildon , and Annie Atkinson, 19, from Grays, come in.

The lucky South Essex College students were chosen to join an elite team of style specialists at the Olympic Park, in Stratford.

They are working alongside Wella professionals at the Procter and Gamble to offer complimentary hair, beauty and grooming treatments to athletes, their families and members of the media. The trio have just completed City and Guilds level three diplomas in hairdressing at the college’s Basildon and Thurrock campuses.

Chanelle said: “Not only is it going to be an amazing experience working and learning from Wella professionals, but to also be working on clients who are international athletes is really exciting.

“I’m really proud of myself to have been selected to work at the Olympics.

“It’s a great way to end four years of studying at the college. I feel like the hard work has paid off.”

Dawn Buttle, the college’s hairdressing academy manager, added: “The girls have worked really hard throughout their time on the course, and thoroughly deserve this opportunity.

“It’s an invaluable experience to build their portfolio and work with stylists from around the world right in the hub of the celebrations.”

South Essex College is one of only 30 colleges in the country to hold the Wella Centre of Excellence Award.

As part of Procter and Gamble’s worldwide Olympic sponsorship, a selection of partner colleges were given the opportunity to nominate students to support stylists at the Wella World Studio during the Games.

Chanelle, Jessica and Annie were chosen for their “ambition, ability and attendance” and are working on a rota which has divided 16 days of work experience between them.