Students are inspired by World Cup legends

Students with Austin Healey
Students with Austin Healey
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Aspiring sports stars from Thomas Middlecott Academy, Kirton, have taken part in VIP masterclasses with two Rugby World Cup legends.

A group of the academy’s most talented players joined other students from the David Ross Education Trust (DRET) for a training session with former England star and ex-assistant head coach at Northampton Saints, Paul Grayson MBE.

Austin Healey, who has 51 England caps, then treated students at Thomas Middlecott Academy and Barnes Wallis Academy, Tattershall, to a day of masterclass sessions and training.

The rugby stars taught students about ball handling, evasive techniques and tackling as well as the importance of hard work, resilience and perseverance to succeed.

One student from Thomas Middlecott Academy said: “It was such a fun day and I’ve learnt a lot from Austin.

“To meet a former England player was incredible, but to listen to his experiences and knowledge of the game is very inspiring.”

Paul Grayson meets some of the students from Thomas Middlecott Academy

Paul Grayson meets some of the students from Thomas Middlecott Academy

Shane Ward, sports enrichment manager for the David Ross Education Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to Austin Healey and Paul Grayson for taking the time to visit our academies and inspire our students.

“It is clear to see that the influence of top international players has encouraged our students to push themselves in order to achieve their goals.

“Their experiences at these masterclasses will stand them in good stead for competing in the DRET Spring Cup next month.”

Meanwhile, James Bray has been chosen to represent Thomas Middlecott Academy on the pitch at Twickenham ahead of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Ireland on Saturday, February 27.

It was such a fun day and I’ve learnt a lot from Austin. To meet a former England player was incredible, but to listen to his experiences and knowledge of the game is very inspiring.

He is one of 100 youngsters selected as part of England Rugby’s All Schools programme – an initiative to increase rugby participation in secondary state schools.

Each student will wear their school’s rugby shirt for the first time, having specially designed it at a workshop organised by kit supplier Canterbury.