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20th April 2018

30 talented sports students from Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) will be heading to the 2018 Association of Colleges (AoC) National Championships this weekend. The AoC National Championships, now in its 40th year, attracts teams from England and Wales and is one of the largest annual sporting events of its kind in the UK, involving over 1700 college students.

Having qualified for the AoC National Championships by winning their regional competitions, students from Newcastle College teams including; Men’s & Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Badminton and Women’s Cross Country along with Stafford College teams in Hockey, Squash and Cross Country will represent NSCG and the West Midlands in Nottingham between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd April.

Newcastle College’s Men’s Volleyball team, fresh from a semi-final win against Priestley Sixth Form College in the AoC Knockout Cup, will be looking to retain their National Championship title having claimed gold in last year’s event. The Women’s team will also be looking to go one better this year, having claimed silver the last two years running.

Coach Ross Cope, Sport Lecturer at NULC 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 the potential of being National Champions for a third year running is extremely exciting.”

Mark Kent, Curriculum Manager for Sport and Public Services at Stafford College said: “This is an incredible opportunity for our students, we are all immensely proud of their achievement and delighted that he will be representing Stafford College and NSCG in such a prestigious competition. We wish them all best of luck and will be supporting them all the way.”

HND Sport student, Lucy Holt from Newcastle College has the honour of captaining the West Midlands team and is looking to retain her 2017 AoC National Championships gold. Said Lucy: “My athletics career has seen me run for England in 2016 and 2017, win the National Championships twice and qualify for the AoC National Championships four years on the trot. I’m really proud to have been put forward to captain the West Midlands ladies again this year and I’m looking forward to the challenge”.

Dave Sutton, Academy of Sport Manager said: “We are really proud of everyone representing NSCG, we’ll be cheering on the team this weekend and wish all competitors the best of luck for the finals. With other recent league successes in Netball, Rugby and Men’s and Ladies Football, the 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 and support 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 number of competitive programmes including; football, basketball, netball, athletics, rugby, volleyball and golf. The College was awarded West Midlands Sports College of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated as "outstanding" for sports, leisure and recreation by Ofsted.

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