YOUNGSTERS are celebrating after winning two regional football competitions.
The team from the town’s Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) beat off competition from across the region to win a seven-a-side and a five-a-side competition.
The PRU, based in Seaton Lane, Hartlepool, is an education scheme that aims to help pupils get back on track with their learning
Staff say the football tournaments are part of the unit’s positive futures enrichment programme, which runs alongside the usual academic classes.
The two teams, made up of pupils aged between 13 and 16, won the seven-a-side competition at the Southlands Leisure Centre, in Middlesbrough, and the Prince’s Trust five-a-side tournament at Goals, in Middlesbrough.
School staff have praised the teenagers for putting in the work on the training pitch.
Service manager Tony Hanson said: “This is the first competition that the team has taken part in this year so we are very proud that they have managed to win both competitions.
“They have a lot of talent and this is a great achievement. I am very proud of our team and staff members.”
Mr Hanson said the football sessions are one of the initiatives staff use to help ensure the pupils work hard during lessons.
He thanked Kyle Anderson, who has helped train the team, and Lesley Goodfellow, learning mentor at the unit, who manages both teams.
The PRU is based at the educational development centre near Golden Flatts Primary School.
The unit was inspected earlier this year by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) as part of a national programme of inspection.
Inspectors praised the leadership and said significant improvements had been made since the last inspection in May 2008 and, as a consequence, the unit offers a good education for its students.