North East Connected

Celebrations for an academy of sporting superstars

As the country celebrates Great Britain’s success at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport is also recognising the fantastic sporting achievements of its students.

Teams and individuals from across its nine sports academies have brought home international, national and regional awards and trophies, as well as some students being selected for professional teams and accepted onto sports scholarships overseas.

The college’s rugby academy played host to the rugby world cup last year, and students had the opportunity to take part in private coaching sessions with the South African and Samoan team. Some students were also selected to deliver sports massages to the Samoan team during the tournament. The college’s rugby team also continued its reign as the AoC Sport North East champions, progressing to national semi-finals in the AoC National Knock Out Cup before losing to eventual winners Hills Road 6th Form College Cambridge.

A number of students and former students have also gone on to compete for professional teams, including Will McCubbin and Chris Little as part of the Scotland Exiles Regional Squad. Student Larry Mew has experienced a successful career with Northumberland u18’s and u20’s and went on to take part in the u20’s final at Twickenham, while students Elliott Beattie and James Cooney have been successful playing for Durham County u20’s and making their first team debut for Blaydon 1st team.

The college’s Men’s Football Development Centre didn’t disappoint with wins in the GFC Youth Alliance u19’s League, making the English Colleges FA National u19’s and English Schools Football Association u18’s play off finals. The men’s u19’s football team also won the AoC Division 3 cup. Talented footballer Adam Wrightson also joined Gateshead FC from the college this year.

The women’s football academy has also had an impressive season, with a number of wins and accolades as well as students being recruited to join professional teams. Wins in the ECFA Elite League, the ECFA Playoffs, AoC Sport Cat 2 League and the SAFC Foundation of Light 7 a side. Student Danielle Brown had an outstanding season and was selected for the England u19’s team and the SAFC Ladies 1st team, the highest level possible for a female player in this country. Emily Ashby and Courtney Corrie joined the English Colleges FA National Team, and Bridget Galloway was awarded the AoC Rising Star Award and £1,000. Head coach Melanie Reay earned her UEFA A License, the highest practical coaching award available.

Students of the Athletics Academy gained impressive achievements this year, with Yasmin Othman winning the North East championships in the javelin while breaking the college javelin record. Olivia Bateman won the North East Cross Country Championships and came 12th at the National English Schools Championships in Nottingham. Former Gateshead College high flying student Charlie Myers has gone on to represent Great Britain at the World Junior Pole Vaulting Championships in Poland.

The college’s Basketball Academy recently announced that Joe Drady, who completed his time at Gateshead College this summer, is now set to go on to a sports scholarship at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Florida. Joe will play for the school’s team, the ACD Apaches, while studying his American SAT’s and ACT’s. Other successes also include students Sean Murphy and Aaron Wilson training with the Newcastle Eagles BBL team, while they were also chosen to join the Newcastle Eagles u18 ‘School of Excellence’ alongside fellow students David O’Connor and Khael Owens.

The Boxing Academy was well represented this year by Toni Crighton, who became a youths champion and national finalist. Advanced Apprenticeships in Sporting Excellence student boxers Morgan McMullen, Ethan Garretty, Michael Rogus and Robbie Alexander were selected to attend a high altitude, and warm weather training camp in Tenerife in February, training with the best student boxers from across the country. The chosen four experienced high altitude training on Mount Teide, training at 2500m. The students also had the opportunity to coach local children in schools around the island after completing a short intensive course in Spanish. Former college student Cyrus Pattinson, who is now on the GB Podium Squad, is now aiming to compete in Japan 2020 after narrowly missed qualification for the Rio Olympics.

Meanwhile in golf, a number of students reduced their handicaps, including Adam Wright cutting his by 2 shots, improving from 5 to 3, and finishing runner up in the Northumbrian Junior Golf Association match play championship. Will Marshall now has an impressive handicap of 0, and this year added a number of accomplishments to his promising golf career so far, including winning the Heworth Golf Club Men’s Championship, finshing top 10 in the English schools finals and being selected for England Schools v Scotland, and coming top 5 in a number of Yorkshire 36 scratch events. Luke Denney also had an outstanding year, qualifying for club champ knockouts and winning the walker cross medal.

Scottish cricket Ace Kyle Coetzer, who was part of the Scotland cricket team which beat Hong Kong in the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 championships this year joined the Cricket Academy this year, joined the college as assistant cricket coach alongside head coach Mick Armstrong. Other achievements for the cricket academy included star student Alasdair Appleby representing Durham Academy and going on to tour India with the team.

Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College commented: “This year the students at the Gateshead College Academy for Sport has collected an astounding number of accolades, opening the doors for a range of fantastic opportunities for them and their sporting careers. I am very proud of both the students and their coaches who together to make the Academy for Sport a leader in sporting excellence. Each year we welcome more and more talented students and athletes and it is fantastic to see them develop their careers here with us and go on to successful careers competing in national and international tournaments, representing England.”

Academy of Sport students work with coaches to perfect their sporting skills while gaining academic and coaching qualifications, all in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. Gateshead College has nine sports academies, including athletics, basketball, cricket, golf, rugby, boxing, netball, men’s football and women’s football. Applications are still open for September 2016. For more information please contact 0191 490 2246 or or visit

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