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Stokesley School: Athletes set to improve sporting prowess

A SCHOOL with an enviable reputation for sporting prowess is to improve its facilities further after securing in excess of half a million pounds in funding.

Stokesley School, whose hall of sporting fame includes Commonwealth double gold medal winning track cyclist Charlie Tanfield, will now be able to revamp its PE facilities, some of which date back to the 1950s.

A member of the Areté Learning Trust with Richmond School, Stokesley School will see a new gym, showers and changing rooms created in a major redevelopment of sports facilities.

The school, which attracts students from Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire, was successful for the third time in its bid for funding from the Government’s Conditions Improvement Fund bringing to more than £2m funds secured to boost facilities since it became an academy in 2015.

Areté Learning Trust chief executive Catherine Brooker said: “Sport is such an important part of the curriculum, not just for our elite athletes but in improving health and wellbeing among all students.

“Our PE staff at Stokesley have been working wonders with the current facilities and I am sure will now go from strength to strength as the refurbishment brings this part of school into the 21st century.”

Architects have been appointed and the contract has gone out to tender. Work will be carried out over the summer holidays.

“It is going to be bright, cheerful, fit for purpose and just the sort of facility our staff and students deserve,” said Mrs Brooker.

“A huge amount of work went into the bid which had to meet strict criteria. I’m delighted we have secured the funding because sport presents incredible opportunities for our young people and this can’t fail to help them compete.”

The school’s hall of sporting fame includes current and former students. Some of the notable athletes include world champion kick boxer and Year 7 student Phoebe English, 12 of Normanby, who recently took the title in the U35kg age 10-13 category.

Year 11 student Emma Brown, 16, of Stokesley, plays football for England U16s and Middlesbrough Ladies, and also plays cricket for Yorkshire and represents the school in netball, hockey, athletics, cross country, rounders and tennis.

Year 13 student Josh Allen, 18, of Nunthorpe, took gold in his favourite discipline of 800m in the Northern Indoor Championships and is a Team England bronze medallist from the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas last year.

Former student Ryan Drury, 21, of Stokesley, was a member of Team GB gymnastics and was selected to train in Lilleshall, Shropshire, with the tumbling squad, competing on the international stage.

Year 13 student and Middlesbrough Mandale athlete Ben Bergstrand, 17, of Great Ayton, continues to compete at the highest level in fell running.

Jonathan Helm, 20, of Stokesley, played football for England U17s and Middlesbrough.

Old boy Charlie Tanfield, 21, of Great Ayton, took two golds at the Commonwealth Games while his brother Harry, 23, won silver. Former student Frazer Clacherty enjoyed a top five finish in the mountain biking event at the same games.

Innes Hill, 15, of Stokesley, was selected this year to be a member of the Scotland Qualified Rugby Squad.

Will Muir, 21, of Grinkle, North Yorkshire, continues to make his mark as fly half and centre with Team Northumbria, linked to Newcastle Falcons, and has represented England in international rugby 7s.

Cricketer James Weighell, 24, of Stokesley, bats and bowls for Durham enjoying considerable success in the professional game.