Promising golfer is the latest recruit to Hartlepool school's elite sports squad

A promising golfer is the latest talent to be handed a place on a Hartlepool school’s elite development squad.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 4:45 am

The challenge is now on for others to join Amy Burton on the top tier of Dyke House Academy’s scholarship programme after the 12-year-old became the first of this year’s Year 7 cohort at the Hartlepool school to be handed a place on the scheme because of her Durham County golfer status.

Cricketer Zac Fitzpatrick heads a talented bunch below Amy on the development tier of the scheme having recently been on trial with Durham – as are footballers Aaron Rowley, Brayden Bellerby, Harley Playfor, Jack Sowerby, Karlton Cole, Oliver Turnbull-Davies, Ryan Varney, Sam Godfrey and Tobi Lowther.

Swimmer James Wilson and another girl golfer, Katie Westmoreland, are on the second tier with hopes to progress to the higher level.

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Amy Burton
Amy Burton

Amy, a member at Wynyard Golf Club and a former Holy Trinity pupil, said: “I’m really pleased. That’s the main reason I came to Dyke House because I wanted to be on the elite squad.

“I started playing with plastic golf clubs aged four. I won my first competition aged eight. In the long term I would love to be a professional golfer.”

As a member of the elite development squad Amy will receive golf lessons at Wynyard.

Scholars on the programme also receive strength and conditioning sessions and personalised kit.

Zac Fitzpatrick and Amy Burton with Dyke House teacher Joe Palmer

Zac Fitzpatrick, 12, said: “I am going to work hard. I want to be a professional cricket player and I want to be on the top tier of the elite.

The Elite Development Squad was first created at Dyke House in 2013 and it boasts professional footballers Harry Chapman (Blackburn) and Vinnie Steels (Sunderland) among its alumni.

Year 11 student Will Cain is currently at Sunderland AFC.

The scheme has produced National Schools’ golf champions and a swimming team that reached the National finals among other success stories.

Zac Fitzpatrick

Joe Palmer, co-ordinator of the Elite at Dyke House, said: “It is about providing an opportunity to get better. The Elite students will showcase the scheme but it is also about the ones who are close – striving to do better.”