Barney Receives Prestigious Sporting Accreditation

Issue 102

A school renowned for its sporting prowess has been officially designated a centre for talented athletes, one of just a handful in the North East.

Barnard Castle School has joined the Sport England-funded Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), a partnership linking young athletes, specialist learning delivery sites and national governing sport bodies.

The programme is designed to bring the best out of the country’s most exciting young talent, aged 16-plus, helping them to balance sport in their lives.

Nationally TASS already supports more than 500 athletes, in 38 sports, deemed to be the cream of the crop. These athletes are all eligible to represent England and have been identified as performing at the top of the Sport England Talent Pathway.

‘Barney’ joins a national network of 38 TASS delivery sites throughout England which provide vital support services to youngsters.

Teachers and coaches will become TASS practitioners and be provided with a host of opportunities to build knowledge and remain current through a continuous professional development programme.

Support packages include strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, lifestyle support, psychology, nutrition, a medical scheme and access to mental health support.

Barnard Castle School’s director of sport Rachael Masterman said: “This prestigious accreditation is normally the preserve of universities, so we are delighted to become one of only three registered schools in the region.

“This will allow us to build a workshop programme that will help our students pursue their sporting dreams. It will support pupils with high level abilities in both their sporting and academic learning.

“It will also give them access to the top universities for their chosen sports and identify the best development pathways. We will be looking at our existing scholarship programme to identify the first cohort of TASS athletes who we will then support so they can be the best they can at their sport while ensuring they also receive the education they deserve.”

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