Inspirational Burnley College athletes honoured
Members of the Burnley College Elite Athlete Programme have marked the end of the academic year with an awards ceremony with a difference.
In a year in which competitive sport on a regional, national and international stage has been impacted by Covid restrictions, athletes reflected on a year where their focus had shifted to increased strength and conditioning training and making progress in the gym.
Lead strength and conditioning coach in the Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, Nathan Norris, said: “Our annual awards ceremony usually acknowledges those elite athletes who have excelled in competitions in their chosen sport.
"This year, due to Covid and many sporting events being cancelled, we’ve switched the focus to how our elite athletes have progressed in their training in the gym, how much commitment and resilience they’ve shown and how they’ve been role models to inspire and motivate others.
“Our elite athletes are truly outstanding and, over the course of the pandemic, have shown they have the mental, as well as they physical strength, to make it in their chosen careers in the world of sport and fitness – whether that’s as a world-class athlete or in a key profession in the industry. It was great to acknowledge that at the awards ceremony.”
This year’s award-winning elite athletes were:
Top Female Elite Athlete (Year 1) – Daisy Oldfield
Dasy (17), from Haslingden, is a figure skater whose ambition is to compete in ice dancing at the Olympics. A former pupil at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, Daisy is studying A-Levels in English Language and Literature, Chemistry, Psychology and Dance alongside her training in the Elite Athlete Programme.
Top Male Elite Athlete (Year 1) – Ethan Rogers
Ethan (17), from Clitheroe, plays rugby union for Blackburn Colts and is committed to building his strength in the Fitness Evolution gym at College alongside his A-Level studies in Mathematics, Physics and Product Design. He is a former pupil at Ribblesdale County Secondary School.
Top Female Elite Athlete (Year 2) – Liberty Thompson
Liberty (18), from Burnley, is a heptathlete, competing with Blackburn Harriers alongside her A-Level studies in Geography, Psychology and Physical Education. She is a former pupil ay Burnley’s Unity College.
Top Male Elite Athlete (Year 2) – Max Rowntree
Max (18), from Mytholmroyd, plays rugby union for Heath Rugby Club and has just finished his Advanced Level Vocational Studies in Fitness Services. A former pupil of Calder High School, Max is planning to study a degree in Strength and Conditioning at Burnley College University Courses and continue his training with the Elite Athlete Programme.
The Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre continues to grow with, in the last academic year, 47 students (who are already competing at a high level in 16 different sports) receiving expert strength and conditioning training, sports nutrition advice, psychological support to optimise their performance and access to physiotherapy.
The programme, led by three highly-qualified strength and conditioning coaches, has also been extended to offer specialist support to Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils.
Burnley College Sixth Form Centre is also accredited by TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) which recognises its commitment to ensure that all students can seamlessly combine their academic studies and sporting commitments.