WARRINGTON’S Priestley College has celebrated the achievements of its sports stars after an unprecedented year of success.
One of the highlights was Priestley’s Rugby Development Academy winning the National Colleges’ Cup in a final played at Headingley.
The academy – formed just four years ago – defeated Leeds Rhinos’ development squad 44-26 to collect the trophy.
Head of sport Nigel Howells said: “It has been an exceptional year for our sports stars and the rugby players bringing home a national cup was the greatest achievement of all.”
Not to be outdone, Priestley’s footballers scored a hat trick of trophies. The boys won both the first and second division of the North West Colleges League (Western Conference) and the girls also took home the first division title ahead of Aquinas and Winstanley.
Highlights among the boys’ football was Priestley’s fastest ever hat trick scored in 14 minutes by former St Gregory’s Catholic High School pupil Kalipa Nyumbu. There was also a record for ex Bridgewater High pupil Freddy Garbutt who scored the most goals by a Priestley student with 36 in league and cup games.
It was a solo competitor rather than team player who won Priestley’s Sports Performer of the Year Award, which was voted for by the students during the celebration.
Sculler Iffy Marinos was honoured for her achievements on the water, which have included top performances in several regattas. She is currently looking to achieve early qualification for the Henley Royal Regatta and will also be racing in a double at the British Rowing Junior Championships.
The former Sir Thomas Boteler pupil has been scouted by the rowing recruitment team at University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and awarded a full scholarship worth approximately $240,000 over four years.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a better athlete and being challenged with the training which will help me to reach my goals,” she said.
Former Priestley students and rugby internationals Joe Philbin, of Warrington Wolves, and Jodie Cunningham, who plays for St Helens, presented the trophies at the college’s sport awards.
During the ceremony there was also recognition for the college’s basketball and netball players as well as nods for those who have excelled academically over the past year.
In a final message to them all, Nigel Howells said: “Thanks for everything you have achieved on the field this year, now please put as much effort into your exams and you will all have a successful future ahead of you.”