Nottingham College sport enthusiasts are among nearly two thousand student athletes taking part in the biggest sporting event in the college calendar this weekend.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the prestigious AoC (Association of Colleges) Sport National Championships which sees teams from 10 UK regions – from 121 FE and sixth-form colleges across England and Wales - competing in 13 different sports.
Beginning tomorrow (Friday 20th April) with an opening ceremony hosted by Paralympic gold medallist sprinter and former record holder, Danny Crates and culminating on Sunday (22nd April), nine Nottingham College students from the East Midlands team will be striving to obtain gold, silver and bronze medals in their individual sports, while also battling for points for their region.
Student athletes will be participating in squash, football, hockey, badminton, cricket, golf, rugby, tennis, volleyball, basketball, cross country, netball and table tennis activities, with the aim of being rewarded for their achievements at a special closing ceremony, held on the event finale.
The region whose teams and individuals accumulate the most points will also win a special Wilkinson Sword trophy.
Speaking ahead of the fun-filled action packed event, Alex Fray, a squash player from Nottingham College who captains the East Midlands Team said:
“I feel very privileged to lead the East Midland region and the event is always a favourite among sport students and staff alike. This year is even more special as there is a greater level of excitement with the National Championships reaching a special milestone in its history.
“Let's hope it's a great weekend for all the Nottingham College students involved, and for the East Midlands squad!”
Nottingham College students Jessica Widdowson, Shannon Beadsworth, Charlie Dryden, Megan Hallam, Jamal Hasan, Mohammed Abdelraham, Rees Pickering and Larissa Myatt are also competing in various sport activities for the special national event.
They are all promising athletes who are studying Sport, ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) or A Level courses at the College.
The competition, is being run in collaboration with Nottingham Conferences – the event delivery arm of the University of Nottingham, as well as Nottingham City Council.
The University of Nottingham’s £40 million David Ross Sports Village will host a number of sports throughout the weekend, while others will take place at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena, Trent Bridge, Nottingham Hockey Centre and Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Regional teams from the Eastern UK area, London, North East, North West, Scotland, South East, South West, Wales, West Midlands, York and Humber will also be hoping to make their mark in the championship tournament.
Nottingham College students have been competing in the AoC National Championships for over 10 years and it is hoped that their recognised sporting abilities and achievements will be formerly recognised this weekend.
Abbi Bladon, Nottingham College’s Sport Technician, who led on organising the event said:
“We are extremely proud that some of our hard working students have earned their place in this nationally recognised competition that many students strive for. To be part of this event, the students have been competing in various regional competitions throughout the academic year to secure their place in the East Midlands Team and qualify for the covetous event.
“Both our students and staff are very enthusiastic about being part of the tournament, we have even had a number of students volunteer throughout the weekend to help with the running of the event.
“To anyone who is attending for the first time, you will soon see why previous students talk about their experience years later.”