Otley school celebrates term of unprecedented success

Lewis Boyce, left, and Joshua Bainbridge, right, with Giggleswick's Taylor Prell, helped England Under-18s win the European Championship for a third successive year.

Lewis Boyce, left, and Joshua Bainbridge, right, with Giggleswick's Taylor Prell, helped England Under-18s win the European Championship for a third successive year.

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Otley’s Prince Henry’s Grammar School are reflecting on a sporting term of unprecedented success, led by the first ever selection of a current student for the England Under-20 Rugby World Cup team.

Jack Walker, aged 17, has been selected for England Under-20 duty to join former Prince Henry’s student Paul Hill. Previously, past students Chris Walker and Dominic Barrow were selected as 19-year-olds. Current students Walker, Lewis Boyce and Hill also all played for the England’s Under-19 side against France in April with Max Wright representing the under-17s.

And Lewis Boyce and Joshua Bainbridge were away with England Under-18s in Poland to help them win a third successive European Championship.

Max Green was also at the European competition, representing Sweden. There has also been domestic rugby union success with Matt Dudman, who left the school last summer, selected to play for Leeds Carnegie while Jack Barnard has signed a new two-year professional contract with the club.

But the school’s success does not lie solely in rugby union with netball teams winning four of the Leeds Schools Netball divisions and being runners up in two more.

Year 9’s Josephine Pinder also won Academy Player of the Year for the County Netball Team. The school swimming team also made it through to the Leeds Gala Finals while the Year 9 football team were runners up in the Leeds NW Football League.

And individual success has been overwhelming with Danielle Bailey continuing her campaign on the road to Rio 2016 by winning three golds and two silvers at the Berlin Open Paralympic Swimming Meet.

Georgia Coates also won three golds and set two new Yorkshire junior records in Glasgow, being selected for the British swimming team for the European Junior Championships in July. Lauren Richardson also made the GB Waterpolo squad while Year 11 ace Ellie Wilson also plays for the NE England and City Of Leeds Waterpolo team.

Year 8 star Sasha Kitching will also be going to Andorra with the City of Leeds Waterpolo team this Summer. Kitching’s brother, Year 9 pupil and triathlete Toby came seventh in the inter-regional and his success features amongst a host of achievements on the track with Toby and Sasha’s sister Zoe Kitching, of Year 10, also a keen triathlete.

Year 13 star Ellena Barker is training with the Team GB Junior Athletics team while Year 10 ace Tom Settle is a five times Yorkshire champion in artistic gymnastics who came 10th in the British Championships.

Year 7 protege Joe Fairburn has also broken five national junior under-15 records in field archery while Year 9 star Anna Shields played for the West Yorkshire hockey squad. Megan Shields, of Year 11, played for North England Hockey and captained the West Yorkshire Hockey Squad while Year 9 duo Sophie Benn and Sophie English have also been invited to the Regional School of Racing by British Cycling.

Natalie Hofman, of Year 12, recently competed as part of the England Squad at the European Karate Championships while Year 10 star Cameron Lord and Year 8 ace Max Lord competed in the Open National Karate Championships.

The PE Faculty and 58 students have just returned from a tour of South Africa and Sarah Grant, faculty leader, PE & sport, said: “It has been a great year for sport at Prince Henry’s. We work with the students on over 20 different sports, and it fantastic to see that opportunity reflected in their achievements.”

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