Leeds school marks 10 years sporting success

Special guests attended a Leeds high school to mark 10 years as one of the first sporting academies in the UK.

Leeds United legend Eddie Gray, Baroness Sue Campbell of the Youth Sports Trust and Olympic gymnast Craig Heap, attended Boston Spa School's 10th anniversary yesterday.

The Wetherby school was one of the first dedicated sporting academies to be established, and has been used for many sporting pilot schemes ever since.

It has an affiliation with Leeds United, and has produced Leeds players including James Milner and Fabian Delph.

A statue of an athlete was unveiled outside the school by the special guests as Baroness Campbell spoke to students about her passion for sport. She said: "I believe in it. I've felt it. It's in my heart and my head. Kids sitting on that wayward edge are pulled back by this thing called sport. Perhaps only music and sport can speak to kids in that way,"

Eddie Gray presented a Leeds United shirt signed by current players and pupils were introduced to handball and futsal – indoor football.

Past pupils who have excelled in sport also came back, including Lois Forsell, who plays rugby league for Great Britain and Ashpal Bhogal, who plays hockey for England,

Headteacher Christopher Walsh said "We are delighted to have had the opportunity tocelebrate our continued success. It is a story of raised standards and successive years of recordacademic achievement. Now we look forward to the next chapterand ourcommitment to yet higher standards remains absolute."

Craig Heap, retired Commonwealth Games Gold medal winning gymnast who competed for England more than 100 times, said: "Get stuck in to sport, have a go and you never know where you might end up."

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