Squash star wins county championships

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Sam Sweeney

A talented sport student is celebrating after being crowned Under 19 Northumberland County Squash Champion 2021.

Sam Sweeney, took the title in a hard fought final at Northern Squash Club and now has his sights set on the British Junior Championships.

The 17-year old is a Sport and Exercise Science student at the Academy for Sport has received support from the Gateshead College Foundation to help achieve his sporting goals.

He said: “Through the financial support of the foundation, I was able to fund some additional professional coaching from my coach, Liam Gutcher. This was brilliant as it gave me additional support in preparing for the County competition, which I’m over the moon to have won. Going forward, the funding will support my preparation for even bigger competitions like the British Junior Championships.”

In addition to the Foundation funding, as a Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) accredited college, Sam not only receives support to achieve his sporting ambitions but also additional support with his studies. The TASS programme ensures training and sport can run alongside lessons and studying by providing more flexibility and offering catch-up sessions.

Sam is really grateful for this: “The TASS programme allows me to travel further and enter competitions that give me more points to help me improve my England ranking. I’ve got a big tournament coming up which means I’ll be absent from college for a couple of days but thanks to TASS, I can compete in this and then receive additional support with my studies to ensure I catch-up.

“The staff at the college are really supportive in helping me achieve my goals both academically with my studies as well as on the squash court. I really love my course and I’m able to take what I learn in lessons and put them into practice when I’m competing to make me a better player.”

Sam plans to go on to Newcastle University to study applied sport and exercise science when he completes his course.

Thu Oct 28 2021