Regional profile - Eastern

The East region were agonisingly close to a top 3 finish at last year’s National Championships, finishing less than 40 points short of third place.

Narrowly missing out in Bath last year has only made the region hungrier for success this time around.

Here’s all you need to know about the 2016 East team:

Last year’s result: 4th place

Colleges representing the region in 2016: Hills Road Sixth Form College, East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Long Road Sixth Form, Seevic, The College of West Anglia, Lowestoft Sixth Form College, City College Norwich, Cambridge Regional College, Milton Keynes College, Easton and Otley College, COLVIC, South Essex College, Suffolk New College

Star team: Milton Keynes men’s football will be looking to defend their title in Tyne and Wear this year. At the 2015 National Championships in Bath, the team saw off competition from the likes of Yeovil College, Winstanley College and Thomas Rotherham College to take home gold for the region. MK won their qualifying group at this year’s regional tournament with ease, conceding just one goal in their three matches. The knockout stages started well, with a 5-0 victory over Palmers College before the reigning champions dug deep to see off College of West Anglia in the semi-final (3-2) and Hills Road in the final (1-0).

They’ve also enjoyed a good season in the ECFA league, having almost certainly cemented second place, while they are still in the running for success in the ECFA Premier Cup, and have a play-off match with Portsmouth to look forward to.

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One to watch: Seevic’s netball team are certainly in the hunt for gold at this year’s National Championships, having cruised through their regional tournament. The team progressed as group winners, conceding just five goals across four games, while scoring an impressive 78 at the other end – double the tally of the next highest scoring team. In the knock-out stages, Seevic eased past Suffolk One 21-3, before proving they can also grind out a tough victory in the final, where they saw off Hills Road 9-7. The team finished sixth at last year’s National Championships in Bath, and with their record in qualifying, few would bet against them significantly improving on that result.

National Championships veteran: Hills Road student John Taylor will be looking to make it back-to-back golds when he goes to the National Championships this year. John was victorious in the men’s tennis doubles event last time out in Bath and will be heading to Tyne and Wear to defend his title again. He and his partner have been putting in the hours to try and gain a competitive edge this year, entering an array of other tournaments to keep themselves sharp and focussed ahead of the Championships.

What they say: “The National Championships is a culmination and of all the hard work and commitment of both staff and students and is the pinnacle in our sports calendar. I am very proud to be taking 44 students to Tyne and Wear in eight different sports: Cross Country; Women’s Hockey; Men’s Volleyball; Swimming; Squash; Tennis; Badminton and Golf.

“We are looking forward to a warm welcome and a new experience this year. This is the event that every student aspires to and takes pride in representing the college in the regional competitions to reach the National Championships.”

Ann Hemming – Head of Sport, Hills Road Sixth Form College