A trio of sporty students from Middlesbrough College have Olympic stars in their eyes.
Charlotte Kelsey, Josh Hill and Lewis Henson – all aged 16 – each have their sights set on competing in future Olympic games, but all in very different sports.
First year Sport and Exercise Science student Charlotte, is already ahead of the field in her sprinting career, having secured herself a place on England Athletics Talent Youth Programme through which she’ll train with top England Athletics coaches.
Charlotte, who is the 2020 under-17 North East 60m indoor champion, has been supported by Middlesbrough College tutors as she balances studies with training.
The fast footed student from Marton said: “I want to take my sprinting to the highest level I can. The ultimate goal is to wear a Team GB vest and compete representing my country in international events, including the Olympics and World Championships.”
Meanwhile Josh Hill, from Darlington, has served up a stunning set of results in his budding table tennis career – putting him in the top 10 of his peers in the country.
The Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science student, who has mild cerebral palsy, is also studying towards a Diploma in Sporting Excellence with Table Tennis England, involving theory work and training camps.
Like Charlotte, Josh is eager to compete for his country – this time in future Paralympics.
He said: “In the future, I want to go professional and train full time. It’s my aim to get to the highest level and compete in the Paralympic Games.”
And Lewis Henson, from Ravenscar, is making waves with his promising rowing career having notched up nautical miles in various sea-based events.
The ambitious student, who is also a cricketer, has travelled all over the country while competing with Teesside Rowing Club.
He said: “My ambition is to row at Henley Royal Regatta. My coach has also encouraged me to look at beach sprints due to my sea rowing experience – that’s because the current lightweight rowing event might be swapped for beach sprints at the next Olympic Games.
“My ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics.”
Middlesbrough College course tutor Andrew Trippett is among the expert staff who are helping the trio take their first steps into sporting careers.
He said: “We’re extremely proud of Charlotte, Josh and Lewis – and all our students. They’re already achieving great things, and have even bigger ambitions. It’s a real pleasure to help them on their journeys.”
Andrew Maguire, course leader at Middlesbrough College, added: “The success Charlotte, Josh and Lewis have demonstrated so far is outstanding.
“What’s more impressive is that all three are combining their practical excellence with academic ability, accumulating as a student athlete.
“The next two years on the course will enlighten the athletes into the diverse world of sport. The Sports Science course is the flagship course of the sports department at Middlesbrough College which consists of a range of practical and theoretical work, covering a holistic approach to sport and exercise sciences.
“The course will provide the athletes with the relevant skills to be successful in the workplace and specifically university.