WESTHOLME School will be hoping 2013 will be as successful as the last 12 months after another year of trophies, titles and team and individual glory.
The Blackburn school has again starred in a wide range of sports, culminating in collective and personal triumphs – from swimming to cross country and badminton to hockey – the school again laid down a claim for West is best!
The recent North West Schools Cross Country Championships at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, the school’s memorable year was summed up by the efforts of its under 13s boys and girls teams.
Competing against strong opposition on a tough course, the boys team finished in fourth place while the girls were crowned champions.
Max Benedetto and Tom Dixon were the top two runners for the Westholme boys teams which also included Owen Greenwood-Dawson, Jonathan Farnworth, Shuresh Saheli-Ghanburi and Harrison Holden.
The girls’ success was down to a real all-round team effort with every runner finishing in the top 15. Alexa McTiffin finished in second place overall with Lucy Fielden not far behind in sixth place. The winning team also included Baylie Thompson, Charlotte Berry, Laura Backhouse and Natasha Rogan.
That success was mirrored at the Blackburn with Darwen Schools Cross Country Championships at Witton Park – but again it was the girls who led the way.
The girls were crowned Year 8/9 and Year 10/11 champions while in the sixth form race, Katie Buckley stormed to glory to win while Gina Charnley and Holly Adamson, fifth and sixth respectively, also had good runs.
Victory for Katie capped a fine year as she was also crowned U17s Red Rose Cross Country Champion after winning three races.
In the year seven races, Laura Backhouse was second as the girls team also finished second while Harrison Holden was first home for the boys team who finished in fifth place.
Alexa McTiffin won the Year 8/9 race and with Baylie Thompson in fifth and Lucy Fielden in sixth, the girls were crowned overall champions.
And Westhome were also first in the Year 10/11 race thanks largely to the efforts of Maddie Ainsworth who was third.
From cross country to county and a number of girls have earned Lancashire call-ups.
More than 30 pupils from Westholme from year seven to sixth form have taken part in various Lancashire hockey development squads. And eight pupils from the school have been successfully selected in the respective county teams.
One such player is Beth Walker-Smith who has been a part of the county set-up since she was 11-years-old and now plays for England Under 21s.
Others to earn county call-ups include Holly Birchall, Lois Westall, Charlotte Berry, Ellie Newton, Maddie Hopkinson, Jade Fielden and Molly Melligan.
And in netball, Olivia Ball was selected for the Lancashire U16s squad while Ella Boys earned her place in the county U14s.
Westholme ‘A’ badminton team qualified for the regional finals of the U16s National School Championship – but only after beating Westholme ‘B’ in the borough final.
In Group A, Westholme ‘A’ beat St Wilfrid’s and Our Lady and St John – and then St Bede’s in the semi final.
In Group B, Westholme ‘B’ were equally as impressive, beating St Bede’s and Darwen Vale then Our Lady and St John to book a place in the final.
In the all-Westholme final, the ‘A’ team beat the ‘B’ team 4-1 and will now represent the borough in Thornton Cleveleys later this month.
The winning ‘A’ team included Emma Dean, Alicia Stebbings, Emily Winter and Rashmi Makaram and Alice Taylor.