A GROUP of talented sports students from Hartlepool have had a taste of life at one of the country’s best universities as part of an exciting scholarship programme.
Forty members of Dyke House Sports and Technology College’s Elite Development Squad spent three days at Northumbria University working on fitness and teamwork while experiencing educational elements too.
The overall experience was very positive and we are delighted how the students impressed the university.Danny Evans, director, Dyke House elite development squad
The trip saw Dyke House’s netball players playing on the court at Sport Central during half-time of Team Northumbria’s Super League defeat to Loughborough Lightning in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Danny Evans, the director of Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad, said: “The trip to a top-performing British university was designed to provide a fantastic insight in to what it is like to study there – and it did.
“Northumbria is in the top ten in the British Universities & Colleges Sport’s overall standings. The overall experience was very positive and we are delighted how the students impressed the university.
“It was great to see interaction between the age groups while we were there and they all worked extremely hard. Hopefully, our students aspire to go on to attend a university like Northumbria if they don’t become a pro athlete in their chosen sport.”
After arriving at Northumbria, the Dyke House students’ first day was spent team building at the treetop adventure course, Beamish Wild, before heading to watch the netball Super League game on the night, when they were mascots. The following day saw the Elite Squad take part in strength and conditioning testing and fitness work, while they were also given information on what is required in different sports to encourage students not to just focus on one.
There was a nutrition and healthy living seminar delivered by Talent Identification and Pathway manager Colin Allen.
On the final day there was a recovery session and more fitness work before the highlight was listening to 2012 Team GB volleyball coach David Goodchild talk about his role as the head of the university’s volleyball.
Goodchild brought in five internationals from the men and women’s teams to coach the students before a further classroom-based sports psychology and positive thinking session was followed by watching Northumbria face the University of Durham at volleyball.
Mr Allen said: “We were pleased to host Dyke House’s Elite Squad for their training camp at Northumbria University. It was a pleasure to work with the group of talented athletes, who were focused and worked hard throughout what was an intensive programme.
“The trip gave the Dyke House students an insight into university life as well as additional experience of how performance athletes train. We hope that the camp will not only benefit their athletic development, but also raise academic aspirations to progress into higher education.”