Promising sport students from a Hartlepool school travelled north of the border to sample some of Scotland’s best training facilities.
Teenagers who are part of Dyke House Sports and Technology College’s Elite Development Squad receive extra coaching to help them achieve their potential.
A 30-strong group of the talented youngsters were treated to a four-day experience of some of the best training complexes on offer in Scotland.
The students got a flavour of the Chris Hoy Velodrome and the Emirates Arena in Glasgow before visiting one of the top-performing universities in the UK the following day.
Before returning to the North East for more lectures at the renowned Durham University, the promising athletes got to visit and train in the Oriam Sports Centre in Edinburgh.
Dyke House was the first school in the UK to visit the state-of-the-art complex in the Scottish capital, and students got to see the national squash team and Heart of Midlothian footballers train.
The school said the visit was an example of how it prides itself on giving scholars an insight into working at top facilities.
Danny Evans, director of the Elite Development Squad, said: “All the facilities at the Velodrome, Stirling and the Oriam were first class, providing a taste of what it could be like if they progress in their chosen sport or to be at a top-performing university.
“To work with Durham University on the final day, and to look at their vision, their development of the facilities over the next five years, was quite exciting too given they are our local and top-performing BUCS university.”
Despite the large group, Mr Evans was hugely impressed with the students’ behaviour and hopes the four-day experience will help them in the future.
He said: “The students’ attitude was great throughout and they were great ambassadors for the school. They worked really well.
“Hopefully it drives them on to achieve both academically and in sport in the years to come.
“We are already planning our next venture to top facilities in the UK.”
The students sported their new blue kit for this academic year.
Tier 3 athletes on the Elite Development scheme are also visiting Loughborough and Sheffield’s Institute for Sport, and a training camp featuring Hartlepool’s Team GB boxing coach Amanda Coulson has been organised.
The Elite Development Squad helps talented athletes to develop their sporting skills to a high level while still following their academic studies.
Just some of the sports it includes are golf, football, swimming, athletics, rugby and snooker.