Students in national finals

Forty-three students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College competed at the British Colleges’ Sport National Finals, held at Bath University during the Easter break. This was the highest number in the college’s history and they took part in eight different sports.

All the students qualified through tough regional tournaments to go on represent the six counties of the eastern region at the national finals.

The long weekend involved 51 events in 14 different sports, with over 2,200 students competing in total. Within BCS there are nine regions (Wales, Scotland, North West, North East, West Midlands, East Midlands, South West, South East and finally the East) and in most events there was an all-play-all format.

There was a great deal of success to celebrate, but the top achievements were: Luke Cox and Mark Robinson took gold in the badminton men’s doubles; Serena Verney and Beth Fox won the bronze in the badminton women’s doubles; Sam Munro was national champion in the swimming pool over the 50m fly and 200m freestyle before being joined by Callum McColgan and Daniel Smith to win the 200m freestyle relay; Zoe Smith was in the victorious medley relay team in the women’s swimming events; Steen Bryant, Dan Lewis, Liam Dyer and Jordan Stephenson won the gold medal in the men’s elite trampoline competition.

Narrowly missing out on a medal, but providing three days of gripping action, was the men’s volleyball team.

They won their group pool, qualified for the semi-finals from the next pool stage and then lost out to the eventual winners from Middlesbrough, before just going down 2-1 to Petroc College from Barnstable in the bronze medal match.

Playing in front of ever-increasing crowds of enthusiastic supporters, the team was a great credit to the college and to their tireless coach, John Ashmore.

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College students also featured strongly in golf, women’s rugby, table tennis (three events) and cross-country running (in both men’s and women’s teams).

In addition, Tegan McCann and Richard Graham were there as two of the 10 national leadership apprentices, helping to organise the tournaments – a real challenge.

Steve Mooney (head of PE at East Norfolk) commented: “I was especially pleased with how all the students played at what is described as the pinnacle of sport for the post-sixteen sector.

“It is hoped that those first-year students who experienced the fabulous sports facilities of Bath University will spread the word amongst next year’s new students and help to motivate them accordingly.

“It was especially pleasing to have a number of our students being selected at late notice and therefore showing the spirit to have a go at what could be perceived as a daunting task.

“All our students enjoyed the weekend and gained enormously, whilst competing at the zenith of college sport.”

Overall, the East region finished a very creditable third behind the champions the South East, with the South West in second place.