2014/15 A year of sporting achievements

Six students are in the sports hall demonstrating some of the most popular sports played at RNC; left to right, David is swinging a golf club, Todd has a cricket bat, Patrick is lying on the floor with a Goalball, Harry is standing with his head leant back balancing a football on his face, Laura is holding a netball, Dan stands at the end with his foot on a futsal ball

Records have been broken this academic year in the visually impaired cricket South & West Development League for the RNC Bulldogs; a team comprising current and former students.

On Saturday 20 June, RNC Bulldogs beat last year’s champions, Hampshire, with a comfortable seven wicket win playing in Southampton. This match was the last in a season that has resulted in the Bulldogs collecting a club record of 120 points. In addition to the win over Hampshire, the Bulldogs beat Kent, Berkshire and Dorset. They secured winning draws against London Metro and Surrey and drew against Gloucestershire. An unbeaten season set another club record!

Sports Academy and A Level student Tom Rogers (Captain) scored three half-centuries in his debut season, which provides the club with another accolade. At 18, it is possible that he is also the League’s youngest ever captain.

Mark Fisher, RNC Cricket Coach, said at the end of the season: “I have no doubt that the mighty Bulldogs were the best team in the League; not just at playing cricket but the spirit which they played with. I want to thank the players for their commitment and good humour throughout the year. From our first training session back in October it has been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

Laura Perry holding a blue goalball ball in front of her

Laura Perry, RNC Sports Academy Ambassador, holding a goalball ball in thePoint4 Sports Hall

In Goalball, the RNC Hereford team became the champions of the Novice Region B Division for the 2014/15 season, with Kyla Smith and Hanif Khan both placing third for their respective women’s and men’s teams in the top goal scorers standings.

In the Intermediate Region Y Division, RNC Hereford finished second overall, with goal scoring accolades going to Lloyd Davies (third) and Laura Perry and Lucy Conn placing first and second respectively.

RNC Hereford placed third in the Elite Division standings, with Laura Perry receiving another top goal scoring position and Dan Roper placing third in the Men’s competition.

The RNC partially sighted football team stand on stage, smiling as they proudly show off their runners up trophies; left to right are James, Gianni, Harry, former RNC employee and student Richard Goodchild, Tom R and Allan

The RNC partially sighted football team pose with their runners up trophies; left to right are James, Gianni, Harry, former RNC employee and student Richard Goodchild, Tom R and Allan

At the end of the football season in April, final year student Harry Gibbons received the England Partially Sighted Player of the Year award; a culmination of hard work and building upon natural talent.

“I’m absolutely over the moon!” Harry declared when picking up his award. “It feels right to win it in my final year at RNC; it’s as if the last three years have been building up to this.”

RNC Sports Academy Coach Adam Bendall added, “I’m so proud. Harry has always been a good player but over the last three years I’ve really seen him mature as a person. He is a born leader with the best attitude I’ve ever seen, both on and off the pitch.”

The RNC team finished runners up in the Partially Sighted Football league, narrowly missing out on the top spot in their final game.

Staff and fellow students would like to congratulate all those involved in sports who represent RNC and demonstrate respect to both their opponents and team mates. Thanks go to the volunteers who enable away matches to take place and organise training sessions outside of normal College hours – these results would not be possible without that commitment and support.

Article written by Anika Backhouse, PR, Publications & Outreach Officer at RNC