College teams up with clubs

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Ashville College has given two local sports clubs a welcome boost by becoming their latest sponsors.

The independent school’s name is now formally associated with Harrogate Hockey and Rugby clubs and will see Ashville supporting both in several initiatives, including player development.

Over the last century, numerous pupils have played rugby for Ashville and Harrogate, and in the late 1960’s school teacher Jeff Young was captain of the Harrogate team while also being a Welsh International. And when it comes hockey, many pupils have also played for the College and the town.

Headmaster Richard Marshall said: “Sport continues to play a significant role in the life of our school.

“Over the last few years, we have placed substantial investment in our sports facilities, including a new all-weather hockey pitch, improved drainage of the rugby pitches and a £3.8m upgrade to Ashville Sports Centre – which provides a wide selection of sports facilities and fitness classes, that are also open to the public.

“We have been around nearly as long as Harrogate Ruby Club and a little longer than Harrogate Hockey Club. I would call all three of us ‘Harrogate institutions’ and it’s great that we are now formally linked to both.”

And the head added: “We have been a part of the Harrogate community for more than 140 years, and our sponsorship of both clubs is a way of showing our support for the great work both do with youngsters from across the district.”

Harrogate RUFC 1st XV Coach David Doherty said: “We are delighted that Ashville College is now sponsoring our club and we look forward to developing this relationship further.

“The move to the outskirts of the town near Follifoot meant we were able to significantly improve our facilities. We have players of all ages coming through the ranks, and Ashville pupils have always featured on the team sheets.”

Harrogate Hockey Club Chairman Julian Rich said: “Running a sports club comes with a cost and sponsors are vital to our continuation. We have a thriving club here, with fantastic players and a wonderful committee, and the support from Ashville is very welcome news indeed.”