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24th April 2019

A talented squad of female volleyball players from Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) have been announced winners of ‘Team of The Year’ in the 2019 Association of Colleges (AoC) Sports Awards, and will be presented with their award at the opening ceremony of this year’s AoC National Championships at Nottingham University on Friday 26 April.

Volleyball Ladies Team 3

The AoC Sport Awards are the chance for member colleges from across the country to showcase and celebrate the achievements and inspirational work of students and staff in college sport.

Currently undefeated and top of the league in the AoC Sport West Midlands Senior League and finalists in the AoC Knockout Cup, the 15-strong squad has continued to go from strength-to-strength during 2018/19, having won the league for six years running and being current the Knockout Cup title holders.

In February this year the team also became the first ever ladies’ college team to qualify for the Volleyball England Student Cup finals, competing against the best universities in the country including the likes of Oxford and Cambridge.

NSCG Volleyball Coach, Ross Cope said: “The girls’ commitment is second to none. They train four to five times a week, often attending training sessions as early as 7.45am before college and on top of that independently working on their strength and conditioning to ensure they are always match ready.”

Ross added: “Their commitment and love for the sport is second to none and they are a pleasure to work with on a day-to-day basis. They are thoroughly deserving of this award.”

Team captain, Lauren Cadwgan who has also been named as captain for the Volleyball England Juniors trip to Italy for the Cornacchia World Cup said: “As a team it’s a fantastic moment when you’re recognised for the hours of hard-work you put in together. We are a very close-knit team and to be recognised and celebrated at a national level is a wonderful feeling.”

Dave Sutton, NSCG Academy of Sport Manager said: “Members of the squad assist in coaching younger players in local schools, passing on their skills to the next generation of volleyball players. The enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and success generated by this squad is clear, raising the presence and helping make our volleyball programme as strong as it is today.”

There was also success elsewhere in the awards announcement for the NSCG Academy of Sport, as A Level student and England Badminton U19 No.1, Abbygael Harris was named runner-up in the Student Performer of the Year category.

Added Dave: “Year on year, the NSCG Academy of Sport continues to go from strength-to-strength and awards such as these serve to demonstrate why were are the region's top college for sport. It’s a testament to these students and our dedicated coaching and support staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure their success.”

The NSCG Academy of Sport is open to students who want to compete, coach, keep fit or simply have fun. There are a number of competitive programmes including; football, basketball, netball, athletics, rugby, volleyball and golf. The College was awarded West Midlands Sports College of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated as "outstanding" for sports, leisure and recreation by Ofsted.

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