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24th April 2018

Sports students from Newcastle College, part of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) are celebrating success after bringing home a haul of gold and silver medals from the 2018 Association of Colleges (AoC) National Championships.

The AoC National Championships, now in its 40th year, is one of the largest annual sporting events of its kind in the UK. Held in Nottingham between 20 – 22 April, the event involved over 1700 college students from across England and Wales.

Having reached the AoC National Championship finals by winning a series of regional qualifiers, 30 talented students from Newcastle College and Stafford College represented NSCG and the West Midlands region in a wide range of sporting disciplines including; volleyball, badminton, tennis, cross country, hockey and squash.

Newcastle College HND Sport student, Lucy Holt had the honour of captaining the West Midlands team for a second consecutive year, setting a shining example to her peers by claiming her third consecutive AoC National Championship gold medal in the ladies cross country race. Said Lucy: “My athletics career has seen me run for England in 2016 and 2017, win the National Championships and qualify for the AoC National Championships four years on the trot. I’m was proud to have been put forward to captain the West Midlands team again this year and winning a third championship gold is just fantastic”.

Newcastle College A Level student Abbygael Harris, from Stafford, who recently represented Great Britain in the European U17 Championships in Prague, competed alongside fellow Newcastle College A Level student Alife James, bringing home two gold medals as part of the West Midlands badminton team.

Meanwhile, Men’s and Ladies Volleyball teams from Newcastle College once again reached the AoC National Championship final, with the teams facing stiff competition from PETROC College in Devon, both narrowly missing out on gold medals following tense finals.

Ross Cope, Sport Lecturer said: “This has been yet another remarkable season for Volleyball at Newcastle College. Both teams have shown real dedication to the sport, putting in countless hours of training and it really has paid off. Getting to the later rounds of these competitions is no mean feat and both teams should be extremely proud of their silver medals. We have Men’s, Ladies and Mixed teams in AoC Knockout Cup finals at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering on 2 May, so our focus now is on preparing for those games and finishing the season on a high.”

Dave Sutton, Newcastle College Academy of Sport Manager said: “We are really proud of how our students have impeccably represented both NSCG and the West Midlands region in this prestigious competition. With other recent league successes in Netball, Rugby and Men’s and Ladies Football, our Academy of Sport continues to go from strength-to-strength, underscoring our position as the region's top college for sport. It’s a testament to our students and coaching staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure peak performance this season.”

The Academy of Sport is open to students who want to compete, coach, keep fit or simply have fun. There are a variety of programmes available at each campus including; football, basketball, netball, athletics, rugby, volleyball and golf.

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