Building on its success in achieving the coveted BCS’s Best Sports College status in 2012, the men’s team won the cup after beating Huntingdonshire Regional College 3 - 2 while the women saw off Filton College 5 – 0 to win their fourth national final at Stoke’s Brittania Stadium in May - team captain Molly Collinson netted twice.
Cup glory topped a successful 2012/13 season for the college’s football development centre.
The women won the BCS Elite League, English Schools’ Football Association’s (ESFA) U18 National Cup, BCS U19 National Cup and were BCS U19 National Play-off winners, securing their position as one of the dominate forces in UK colleges football.
The men’s football squads also enjoyed success as the U17s and U19s both won their regional BCS leagues and the League 2 side went unbeaten throughout the whole 2012/13 season.
The college men’s elite squad also formed the Gateshead FC reserve side and added to its achievements by winning the U19 FA Youth Alliance League earlier in the year, retaining the champions title after winning it for Gateshead during the club’s first year in the league.
Elsewhere, Gateshead College students were among those competing for honours. Leading the way was Jarrow gymnast Nathaniel Scott who was part of the Double Mini Trampoline team which took bronze at the World Championships in Bulgaria. This followed earlier success for Nathaniel in the sport having come third in 2012 European Junior Championships.
He was one of many students to benefit from rigorous training at the college’s Academy for Sport based at Gateshead International Stadium, where intensive strength and conditioning programmes are delivered by elite athletes and qualified fitness instructors in state-of-the-art facilities.
Others included talented Marc Cook from Forest Hall and Ieuan Bodman, from Benwell, who were selected for the Irish RFU and Welsh RFU Exiles squads respectively. Ieuan, who plays either scrum-half or fly-half and is a regularly in the Ryton RFC team, and Mark, a prop forward for Percy Park RFC, were both part of the college’s highly successful Rugby Performance Centre.
Joining them in gaining representative honours were four students who made the BCS North of England squad: props Tom Davidson, 17, from Seahouses and Elliott Beattie, 16, from Gateshead, Blaydon RFC, scrum-half Harry Thompson, 16, from Morpeth, and centre Jiri Lacina, 18, from the Czech Republic.
Also gaining top honours was Alex Rhodes who became one of the netballers in the Academy selected for the British College National squad for 2013/14.
This year also saw achievements in other academy sports including athletics where Stephanie Moore ran to success at the INASS world championships securing bronze in both the 100m and 4x4 100m relay. Fellow student Oliver James also secured the opportunity of a lifetime after winning full scholarship to USA McNeese University in Louisiana to study bio-science in dentistry on an athletics’ scholarship.
Boxing saw Liam Kelly fight his way to the national finals at the Junior ABA Championships while Cyrus Pattison was a CYP national finalist. Talented golfer Carl Morfoot landed the top prize winning Durham’s competition for young golfers, the 2013 Mizuno Race 2 Rockliffe.
Morfoot, who plays off one, claimed the championship by two shots to add to his success in the mixed gross category of the order of merit. He’s now studying for a degree in Applied Golf Management Studies at Birmingham University and hopes to become a PGA professional in the future.
College cricket also benefitted this year from the training and resources available at its specialist academy, which has been open for last two years. Rachael Petherick was the top wicket taker in the Women’s National County Championship Div 2 where she finished with a total haul of 29 wickets in the county U17s and full senior side at an average of 12.19.
She also had a fantastic season at club level, ending as the leading wicket taker in the men’s league where she plays for East Rainton.
Lewis Pendleton, Sports Academy Manager at Gateshead College said: “This year’s achievement and success shows the potential of success for our students and the quality of staff, learning provision and facilities available for their use.
“On behalf of all the sports team we wish them every success for 2014 - and I’m sure further top sporting honours for Gateshead.”
Academy of Sport students work with coaches to perfect their sporting skills whilst gaining academic and coaching qualifications, all in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. The college has academies in men’s and women’s football, rugby, golf, netball, basketball, athletics, cricket, boxing, swimming and rowing.