South West retain the Wilkinson Sword!

The South West retained their Wilkinson Sword title at the weekend, securing seven gold medals to be crowned AoC Sport National Championships winners for the second successive year.

The region finished 30 points ahead of the South East, while the West Midlands took the bronze.

Nearly 1800 college students from across England, Wales and Scotland travelled to Tyne and Wear to compete in the three-day event, now in its 38th year.

It was the first time the National Championships had been held in the area, but while students and staff enjoyed the new surroundings, there was nothing unusual about the eventual champions.

Team captains Jared London (Truro and Penwith College) and Vicky Prouse (Exeter College) led the way, claiming gold in the men’s squash and silver in the badminton mixed doubles respectively.

They were ably assisted by the likes of Truro and Penwith duo Amy Polglase and Kellen Moore in the women’s badminton doubles, the women’s golf team led by overall champion Megan Miles from Cornwall College, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s Christopher Zirkert in the men’s table tennis singles, Josh Pimm of Strode’s College in the men’s trampolining and Petroc’s women’s volleyball team, who all earned gold medals.

The region also claimed a further 11 individual medals and seven team medals across the three days.

Vicky Prouse said: "Retaining the Wilkinson Sword was an incredible achievement for the South West. It was great to be one of the student captains who could collect the sword on behalf of all the amazing South West students who competed so well.

“Winning my own silver medal was also a great personal achievement with many amazing memories made in Newcastle that I will keep with me for a very long time.

“I am so proud to get to captain such an amazing region in my last year at the AoC Sport National Championships.”

Jared London added: “It was a great achievement being a part of and captaining the South West team to win the Wilkinson Sword, and also winning gold for my final year - these are some memories which will stay with me forever.”

The athletes competed across 15 different sports, including football, swimming, hockey, basketball and, for the first time at the Championships, cricket.

AoC Sport Managing Director Marcus Kingwell said: “The AoC Sport National Championships has been an unqualified success this year.

“Thanks to the hard work and support of delivery partners Tyne & Wear Sport, Northumbria University, Nirvana Europe and NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the quality of the event has increased significantly, as demonstrated by the feedback from students.

“Great sport, great facilities and great entertainment in a great city.”

The final standings can be viewed on the official National Championships website.