Top marks for academy at nationals

The St Leonards Academy team which competed in the National Schools' Badminton finals
The St Leonards Academy team which competed in the National Schools' Badminton finals

The St Leonards Academy’s key stage three boys’ badminton team competed at the finals of the National Schools’ Championships.

The event, held at Center Parcs in Nottingham last weekend, was a fantastic experience for the four young players, who had done extremely well to win through local, county and regional rounds to reach the finals.

The St Leonards side of Chris Morgan, Ewan Robertson, Ryan Page and Ashley Hills was one of nine teams competing from all around the country.

There were a few nerves in the first game against Outwood Academy Valley from Worksop, but the boys managed to hold on for a 3-2 win.

Next up was Bournemouth Collegiate - an experienced side who had come fourth in the national finals last year. The boys gave a good account of themselves, but ultimately went down 5-0. Bournmouth Collegiate went on to win gold and beat the runners-up by the same score.

With second place in their group achieved, SLA went into a play-off for the places between fourth and sixth. Some super badminton was played, but they were beaten 3-2 by Cowley International School.

The team was determined to get fifth place rather than sixth and held off the challenge from Sheffield’s Tapton School in their last match, beating them 3-2. An amazing experience was capped by meeting top England internationals Sarah Walker, Andrew Ellis and Anthony Clark.