Albany Academy’s new intake are future stars in the making and the year group are excelling both in and out of school! Talented students are participating in sport and the arts outside of the classroom, with over 60% of the year group involved in activities outside of school. Students are taking part in a wide range of activities including, golf, swimming, cricket, horse riding, dancing, running, drumming, music, football, netball, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo and BMX.
Staff at the school have been delighted with the Year group’s commitment to extra-curricular clubs and with their commitments to their chosen activities outside of the school. Seven students in particular stood out as being on a pathway to sporting stardom and they have been dubbed the ‘magnificent seven’ by their teachers. The students, Matthew Gilston (BMX), Jake Sanderson (Cricket), Darius Tate (BMX), Ria Walsh (Gymnastics and Karate), Levi Welsh (Football), Piper Stevens (Swimming) and Matthew Flatters (Running) look destined to be successful in their chosen sport.
Matthew Gilston and Darius Tate are rising stars in the world of BMX. Both ranked highly in their age group, with Matthew currently ranked number three in the UK and five in Europe. Darius who rides for Mid Lancs BMX Club based in Coppull is a very talented rider and was crowned Northern Champion in 2013. Matthew who has won the Scottish Open three times, said, “I love my sport because it is fun and extreme. Training can be hard but it is worth it as my dream is to move to America and compete professionally in my sport. I hope one day to represent team GB at the Olympics.”
Darius said, “I love the sport I feel free when I ride and enjoy competing. I want to ride at the Olympics and I hope I can achieve this dream.”
Two females who form part of the ‘magnificent seven’, Piper Stevens and Ria Walsh are on the pathway to success within their chosen sports. Piper is a very talented swimmer who represents Wigan Best squad and has won a silver medal at the Lancashire County Championships in the 50m breaststroke. Ria is a brown belt in Karate and is at advanced gold level in Gymnastics. Piper said, “I like swimming all different strokes and love that I have made so many friends through swimming. My ambition is to perfect all four strokes and represent team GB at the Olympics 2020.”
Ria who has achieved many badges and medals in both sports, said, “I really enjoy both sports, Karate because I can express my feelings through my kicks and punches and gymnastics because it helps me to keep fit. I dream of being an Olympic gymnast and competing at the Olympics.”
Two students who are rising stars in two of the nation’s favourite sports are Levi Welsh (football) and Jake Sanderson (cricket). Levi is currently in the under 12’s squad at the Liverpool Academy, training three times a week and playing on Saturdays. Jake has had trials with Lancashire and is an all-rounder, opening the bowling and batting at number three. Levi said, “I love the sport I do it is so much fun. I have won many trophies, including two player of the tournaments awards when I was competing in competitions in Germany. My future aspirations are to be a professional footballer and I aim to be the best footballer in the world.”
Jake said, “I love playing Cricket, some people think it is boring but I see it as my speciality. I have set many records and want to keep getting better. I want to become a professional cricketer and play for England one day.”
The final member of the ‘Magnificent seven’ is Matthew Flatters, who is a member of Horwich RMI Harriers. Matthew has competed across the country in competitions and his achievement includes coming 1st in the Bolton mile and 1st in the Manchester run. Matthew who competes at distances between 800m and 15000m, said, “I love running as I get to travel around the country competing. I ran the fastest two miles in the country last year and want to continue to improve.” Matthew like many of his peers would like to compete for team GB at the Olympics and is on course to achieve this.
Shelley Birchall, Head of Year 7, had glowing praise for the Magnificent 7 saying, “It’s fantastic to see so many of the year group excelling in their sports and demonstrating the drive and commitment that is needed to do so. I hope one day to see them all on the TV representing their country.”
If you would like to know more about Albany Year 7 sporting stars please visit www.albanyacademy.co.uk or to see profiles of the 'Magnificent Seven'