Cardiff and Vale College student Sam competes at AoC Sport National Championships

4 May 2017

Sam Curwen from Cardiff and Vale College competed at the AoC Sport National Championships in Nottingham last weekend. Sam who competed in the Cross Country event, travelled to the University of Nottingham where he battled against athletes from colleges across England and Wales during the three-day event.

Sam was the first placed finisher from the Welsh team and was placed 24th in the entire competition. As well as individual success, Sam helped to accumulate points for the Welsh region with all regions competing to win the prestigious Wilkinson Sword trophy. The South East region became the new winners of the Wilkinson Sword trophy, wrestling the title off local rivals the South West region in a highly competitive weekend.

James Young (Head of Department for Sport, Tourism and Public Services) stated that “Sam was an excellent ambassador for the college and the Welsh region. His ability, attitude and application was impeccable at all times during the event. His performance was very good on a tough, hilly 7.5km course at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham and was rewarded with being the 24th fastest male cross country runner in all Welsh and English colleges – a massive achievement.”

Sam said: “It was a great experience running for Wales for the second time at the national champs in Nottingham. I was delighted to be the first Welsh boy to finish, especially due to the calibre of runners that were in the race.”

More than 1,600 college students took part in this year’s National Championships, now in its 39th year, at a series of incredible sporting facilities including the University of Nottingham's David Ross Sports Village, Trent Bridge, Nottingham Wildcats Arena, Morley Hayes Golf Club, Nottingham Tennis Centre and Nottingham Tennis Centre.

AoC Sport chair, Mark White OBE, told FE Week: "We've had a marvellous weekend at the University of Nottingham at the AoC Sport National Championships. I've spent three days watching real enthusiasm and excellence in the students from colleges, who have competed with such passion and such talent. I've enjoyed every minute of it. AoC Sport is absolutely committed to supporting sport and physical activity across all of our college sector, and I'm already looking forward to next year's National Championships next spring."

The athletes competed across 13 different sports, including football, squash, hockey, basketball and cricket.

AoC Sport Managing Director Marcus Kingwell said: “What a fantastic weekend we've had at this year's National Championships. Thanks to the hard work of the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Conferences, Visit Nottinghamshire, volunteers, AoC Sport staff and, of course, the competitors, coaches and college staff, the past three days have been a resounding success. Congratulations to all who took part, we're already looking forward to seeing you all again next year."

Andy May, General Manager of Nottingham Conferences who helped organise the Championships, said: “It was great to see so many young people enjoying the huge variety of wonderful facilities we have available here at the University of Nottingham. The standard of competition was incredibly high and it was impressive to see the sportsmanship and professionalism shown by the athletes – they were a credit to their colleges.”