National Championships 2024

Last weekend our Men's Basketball Team, Women's Basketball Team and 2 badminton players headed up to Nottingham to compete in the AoC Sport National Championships! Tight games were played by all, with some great wins and some close losses - everyone came home with a sense of achievement and new friendships after a fantastic weekend! 

Friday 19 April 

Setting off from college around 11am, we were all super excited about heading to Nationals - however, we knew we had a long journey ahead and a small window to get warmed-up and in the zone before our first matches. Our Badminton team started the weekend with 2 defeats against North West and East Midlands regions. The weekend for the Men's Basketball team opened up with a win against the South East region, whilst the Women's Basketball had no matches so took the opportunity to cheer on the rest of our teams! 

We had an eventful night; settling into the hotel and enjoying an evening meal which was followed by the opening ceremony - coming together with all the other competitors to celebrate the games! 

Saturday 20 April 

Badminton unfortunately started the day with another loss, but despite seeming down and out, they managed to rally together and win the next 3 games on the bounce against the South West, West Midlands and London!  With 4 wins and 3 defeats, it all came down to the deciding game on Sunday when they took on Yorkshire and Humberside. The winner of that game will claim the Bronze Medal, before finishing the day with a win against the North East Region!

A great start to the day for our Men’s Basketball team, who won their morning games against East Midlands and North West and went on to beat London in the afternoon, meaning they finished top of the group and got into the semi-finals against Wales! Sadly, the pressure and long day took its toll on the lads, and they lost 30 – 17, meaning they missed out on their chance for the top spot but still went into the Bronze medal match on Sunday. 

The Women’s Basketball team had a great 37 - 2 win against London, but suffered close losses against the North West and South West regions, meaning they would need to win both games on Sunday to have any chance of claiming the Bronze medal.

Sunday 21 April

So, with plenty to play for on the last day, here is how it went down…

Sadly, the Women’s Basketball lost their last 2 games, meaning they finished 5th out of 6 overall.  Even with 4 defeats, they were competitive and had tight score lines barring one match.

Men’s Basketball went up afterwards in the Bronze medal match against the West Midlands.  After the heartbreak of a semi-final defeat to the eventual winners, the lads rallied to comfortably win and claim Bronze - 3 out of 10!  Huge congratulations to Pete and the lads!

Last to go was badminton, and what an emotional roller coaster this was!  After 2 wins each, it came down to the 5th and final match against Yorkshire and Humberside.  After winning the 1st set 15-14, we then went on to lose the next 2 games 13-15 and 14-15!  All the games were so tight, but sadly, a 2-1 defeat in the final match meant we finished 4th out of 9, narrowly missing out on a medal!  Yize Gao and Amelia Martell were our 2 badminton players and joined 2 other Hills Road students and a Colchester Sixth Form player in forming the Eastern Region team - we couldn't be proud of them coming together and putting on such a great performance! 

All the students who attended the Nationals represented the college to the best they possibly could from a performance point of view, but they were also very professional and well-behaved over the weekend. We got back to college by 5pm on Sunday, all a bit tired but feeling that the weekend was well worth it, having had a brilliant sporting experience!