A HARTLEPOOL secondary school is to launch a unique sports scholarship for young talented athletes to be part of its elite development squad.
The Elite Development Squad Sports Scholarship will allow Dyke House Sports and Technology College, in Mapleton Road, to build on its established links with both Durham and Teesside universities together with the Youth Sports Trust.
The aim is to develop the potential of the next generation of talented town youngsters capable of competing nationally while they also continue their academic studies.
It will run from Year 7 to Year 11 and the aim is to have 10 “high achieving” youngsters in each year group.
The school, judged by Ofsted as outstanding, is an academy sponsored by Northern Education Trust and specialises in sport.
Headteacher Andrew Jordon said: “Currently we have a cohort of 1,050 students at Dyke House and out of this number perhaps five to ten students are operating at or above the regional level in sporting achievements.
“So this means that we already have our Year 7 allocation more or less complete for the next academic year.
“We are only looking for around 10 students in each year group and ideally would prefer to build up the numbers over time, but I can confirm that all kinds of sporting activities will be catered for.”
Mr Jordon, who stressed this wouldn’t be an “easy option”, added: “It will be an academically challenging regime and students will be required to contract to a set of conditions that they must meet and maintain.
“So as well as developing their sporting ability it will also provide students with a wide pathway to pursue future academic opportunities.”
The package of support includes financial help towards travel costs, free specialist and general training kit, free membership and competition fees, regular fitness testing and attendance at training camps, previously held in Italy and the USA.