Thorp Academy

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English No 1 helps scholars on court

THORP ACADEMY has seen its team of area badminton champions receive tips from the top to help their development.

THORP ACADEMY’S area badminton champions are receiving tips from the top to help their development.

England’s No 1 women’s player, Fontaine Chapman, has been up to the Ryton-based secondary school and sixth form college to pass on advice.

Chapman’s visit will be followed by more in the future as she is scheduled to meet up with the players once every half term.

It is part of Thorp’s exciting sports scholarship scheme – the Elite Performer Programme – and she has enjoyed working with the talented group, many of whom qualified to compete at the National Junior League finals last weekend.

Coventry-born England international Chapman, 27, said: “I am really looking forward to coming up to Thorp Academy and working with the talented badminton players on this programme more often.

“I think it's really important to encourage and try to develop our future players so I hope I can help do that by coming up to Newcastle and passing on some tips. Hopefully I can inspire the next top England players.”

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Thorp’s Jude Lapworth, Billy Lapworth, Daniel Armstrong and Louie Abraham all travelled to Milton Keynes to form part of the Durham Schools’ team at the nationals.

It is the second year in a row they have made the trip and they narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth out of 11. The group deserved special praise because they all played at least one year above themselves at Under-16s. Jude actually played two years above her age group.

Thorp’s Faculty Lead of PE, Chris Kirkland, said: “Four of our scholars were able to use Fontaine’s insight and training to impress at the National Finals, hopefully that can inspire greater success too.

“The England ranked number one is working with eight of our EPP scholars, six of which are representing County Durham.

“Fontaine will be working on the quality of the technique, footwork, shot selection for singles/mixed and doubles and specific game management strategy. It’s fantastic to have her working with us.”

The Elite Performer Programme at Thorp Academy has places available for September aged 11-18. Please contact [email protected] for details.

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