Thomas Clarkson introduce Academy programme for gifted sports students

GIFTED and talented sports students at Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech will become members of an elite sports academy, directed by Deputy of PE department Ben Smith with the help of Head of department Matt Garrod.

GIFTED and talented sports students at Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech will become members of an elite sports academy, directed by Deputy of PE department Ben Smith with the help of Head of department Matt Garrod.

The five-year programme will see students with promising sporting potential from the ages of 11 to 16 receive top coaching directed at their individual sports.

Smith will be joined by Paul Merrell, a former national league sprinter who has helped maximise the potential of some of the top young sporting talents across the country.

Smith will also receive help from Soccer All Stars’, a company which coach football across the region, and from Core Cambridge, which is a centre of excellence for the development of sports athletes. Core Cambridge will hold a seminar at the college where they will speak to the academy students about exercises, nutritional guidelines and coaching.


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The academy will be looking to develop all sports.

OWEN BERESFORD, 13, is a karate star. He was inspired to get involved in the sport following the Hollywood blockbuster, Karate Kid. Owen trains at the Hudson under Sensai Steve King and has competed at national level with the Karate Association.

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ELLIE BENNINGTON is a 13-year-old female footballer who has had trials with Arsenal. Ellie has previously been on the books of Cambridge United and King’s Lynn and now plays for Hungate Rovers in the Fenland District League.

JACK BRIGGS is a 14-year-old Tennis player who trains under John Rudd, former winner of Junior Wimbledon. Jack has participated in national competitions and now plays his tennis at Thorpe Wood Racquets Club in Peterborough.

Having secured kit deals with national sportswear company Player Layer and Fenland Hygiene, academy students can be recognised for their achievements by wearing academy printed T-shirts for PE lessons in school to make them stand out from their peers.

In return, the students will be expected to act as leaders in lessons, helping others to reach a similar standard of their own.

Smith is still looking to find funding for the academy. Anyone who may be able to help should contact the college on 01945 585237.

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