Students from Richard Huish College competed at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport National Championships in Nottingham recently, coming home with 40 medals as they helped the South West Region to finish in first place.

Huish students, competing in Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Mixed Hockey, Mixed Cricket, and Cross Country travelled to the University of Nottingham where they battled against athletes from colleges across England and Wales during the three-day event.

Men’s Basketball kicked off the weekend for Huish with two wins from two of their round robin games on Friday night, they followed this up by winning the rest of their games Saturday to qualify top of their group for the semi-finals. Saturday afternoon they comfortably booked their place in the final winning by three points, 18-15 against Stoke College.

Women’s Basketball followed in the footsteps of their male counterparts winning their first two games with relative ease before a slight wobble in their third game, after which they never looked back, closing out their remaining three games efficiently and finishing with a well-deserved gold medal.

Mixed Cricket had a tough task in their group stages with some of the top teams in their pool. They came through the group stages in second place and moved into the semi-finals match against Loughborough College who were favourites for the gold. In a close contest, they lost in the last three balls but gave their all to try and reach the final. In the bronze medal play-off game, they triumphed to win the medal.

Cross Country had two races in both the Men’s and Women’s event. Both Huish runners put in gritty performances in the three-lap course and finished in the middle of the pack. The South West Women’s team came away with a silver for their overall positioning across the two days.

Mixed Hockey had a good start, winning their opening two games before drawing in the third game. With two wins and a draw for the three top teams it left everything to play for on the final day. Huish got off to a good start against Barton College winning 3-0 and setting up a gold medal decider versus Greenhead College. The final game was the pick of the weekend and Huish brought out the best from the opposition goalkeeper. Unfortunately, it was not to be, Huish lost 2-0 in their final game, finishing with an impressive silver medal.

Out of the 41 students representing Huish, 40 came home with medals. As well as individual glory, colleges were aiming to accumulate points for their region and win the prestigious ‘Wilkinson Sword trophy’. After an intense competition, the South West region were presented winners of the Wilkinson Sword with a total of 140 points, the first time the region has won the coveted title since 2016.

AoC Sport Director of Sport and Student Experience Dean Hardman said: “It goes without saying that the past two years have been extremely difficult for everyone and especially young people. We were therefore delighted to see the return of the AoC Sport National Championships for the first time since 2019 and the much-needed opportunity for our talented athletes from across the country to compete against each other at this fantastic event.

“Given all the challenges colleges have faced throughout the pandemic, it is outstanding to see so many join us in Nottingham and to see so many students enjoying their sport and its many benefits. It has been a privilege to host them.”