An impressive 16 different colleges qualified through the regional tournaments for the honour of representing Yorkshire and Humber at this year’s National Championships, so it is truly a regional affair.
They finished in seventh place last year in Bath, but take a strong team up the A1(M) this time around.
Here’s all you need to know about the 2016 Yorkshire and Humber team:
Last year’s result: 7th place
Colleges representing the region in 2016: National Championships regulars such as Bishop Burton College, Greenhead College, New College Pontefract and Huddersfield New College will be joined by newcomers Harrogate College, Kirklees College and Wakefield College. Additionally, there is a return to the Championships for Barnsley College, Franklin College, Grimsby Institute, John Leggott College, Scarborough Sixth Form College, Shipley College, Wilberforce College, Wyke Sixth Form College and York College.
Star team: Without doubt the Greenhead College netball team are the ones to beat. They are current National Championship gold medal holders and seem to get better year after year. Coached by National Championship ‘expert’ Sue Young, the team contains several stars but the main focus is on teamwork and this is one of the key factors that make them so successful.
One to watch: The Yorkshire and Humber women’s rugby team only started competing at the National Championships a few years ago but they have already finished in the top three for the last two years. Thanks to the efforts of Leigh Mackie from Barnsley College, who organises and coordinates the trials, this year the team are looking stronger than ever. The core of the team is made up of Bishop Burton College students with a few players from Barnsley College and the combination seems to be working well.
National Championships veterans: New College Pontefract’s Fern Burnley will be competing in her third National Championships, which is quite an impressive feat in itself, but what is even more remarkable is that she will be competing in her third different sport. In previous years, the former National Youth Council member has represented the region at squash and swimming, and this year she will be competing in the women’s basketball competition.
What they say: “As a relatively new region, Yorkshire and Humberside has grown year on year with its participants and performances in the National Championships. With this year’s tournament in the neighbouring North East, we are even more hopeful of a successful year looking to climb once again in the Wilkinson Sword league table.
“We're proud of our regional tournament turn out at the University of York, which grew this year to welcome 2000 participants and the standard, especially in team sports, continues to grow.”
(James Earl – Director of Sport, Bishop Burton College)