Saltburn’s Huntcliff School is in extremely high spirits after a group of students represented the North East of England in a major sporting event on Saturday 16th April.
The school’s Key Stage 4 boys’ badminton team, made up of Year 11 students, Lachlan Kennedy, William Hill, Sam Campbell and William Arch Davies travelled to Milton Keynes to compete in the National Schools Championship Finals following success at previous rounds. The team trained after school and in their spare time, starting their journey last November; here they played other Redcar & Cleveland school teams, sailing through to the next round at Thornaby Pavilion in January where they beat Stockton, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough schools. On 1st March, the boys represented the Tees Valley against Northumberland, North Tyneside and Durham as part of the North East round, with victory giving them a pass to the key stage 4 final where they battled it out in the hope of becoming national champions.
For the first time, the championships were held at the National Badminton Centre – the training ground for Team GB and where the students stayed on their trip, accompanied by PE Subject Leader, Laura Whaley and PE Teacher, Pete Wright. Before all the action was an opportunity for the team to take part in a Q&A session with professional badminton player, Tom Wolfenden, and former Olympian, Anthony Clark, in which William Hill was highly commended for his excellent questions.
After a gruelling day of competing against eight schools from areas such as Nottingham, Sheffield and London, and following their success in playing against over 1800 other schools to arrive at the finals, the team came in sixth place overall.
Miss Whaley said, ‘we’re so proud of the students; it’s an unbelievable achievement to have finished sixth in the country. The boys worked hard and are a credit to the school, especially given the high standard of performance we saw at the event’.
The PE Department thanked the campus PTFA and also Redcar & Cleveland Sports Partnership for providing funding for the trip, helping to pay for personalised team t-shirts as well as transport and accommodation.