June 16, 2020
A promising teenage footballer at Northern Education Dyke House Academy has been determined to maintain his fitness levels during lockdown, ahead of an eventual return to Middlesbrough Football Club.
13 year-old Ollie Duthie is one of a number of students to have regularly attended the Hartlepool school during the coronavirus pandemic because his parents are key workers. The driven Year 8 student is not prepared to allow the restrictions to affect his performance when he does eventually return to a football pitch however, having recently been told he will be retained by Middlesbrough’s academy for another year at least.
Ollie, a former Holy Trinity pupil, is sticking to a fitness programme designed by the club, while also being active at Dyke House where he is a member of the Elite Development Squad scholarship programme. He will be joined at Boro again by his school friend and team-mate Frankie Coulson.
Ollie said: “March was the last time I was there, so Middlesbrough have sent us a weekly timetable. We are expected to do some technical work against a wall, keeping the ball up, on a Monday. The rest of the week is spent doing a mixture of a high intensity circuit, a bike ride or 5 km run and some more technical work before having Sunday as a rest day. It’s about trying to stay as fit as you can be because I was training four or five days a week before. I am retaining my fitness though.
Ollie’s mum, Jenny, is a nurse and his dad, John, works at the power station, so he has continued to attend school throughout the lockdown. “I have enjoyed it,” said Ollie. “We have a three hour slot for lessons in the morning when I do things like Hegarty Maths and technical learning. On an afternoon I can go in the sports hall, play badminton, and go on the football pitches to work on my fitness and technical work. It’s good for something to do. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at home. School is keeping me busy. We did a massive poster to say thank you to the NHS and key workers. We have done plenty of things like that too.”
Adam Palmer, Principal, said: “Ollie and Frankie are two very talented footballers, and it is inspiring to see how hard they are both working to maintain their fitness during this unprecedented time. We are very proud of how well they have represented Dyke House Academy in the Year 8 Team, that memorably reached the semi-finals of the National PlayStation Elite Cup in March. I’m delighted that Middlesbrough Football Club have recognised that talent, and secured the boys for a second year, once the restrictions are lifted. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they can achieve once they get back into official training and competitive matches.”