May 26, 2021
A promising golfer, Amy Burton, is the latest talented student to be awarded a place on Dyke House Academy’s Elite Development Squad, and the challenge is on for a long list of others to join Amy on the top tier of the scholarship programme at the Hartlepool school. The 12-year-old is the first of this year’s cohort of Year 7s to be awarded a place on the Elite tier of Dyke House Academy’s programme because of her Durham County golfer status.
Cricketer, Zac Fitzpatrick, heads a talented bunch on the next development tier of the scheme below Amy, having recently been on trial with Durham. Footballers, Aaron Rowley, Brayden Bellerby, Harley Playfor, Jack Sowerby, Karlton Cole, Oliver Turnbull-Davies, Ryan Varney, Sam Godfrey and Tobi Lowther are also on this level. Swimmer James Wilson and another girl golfer, Katie Westmoreland, are on the second tier with hopes to progress to the higher level and there is expected to be dancers and gymnasts who will be included once Covid-19 restrictions allow assessments at Dyke House.
Amy, a member at Wynyard Golf Club and a former Holy Trinity pupil, said: “I’m really pleased. That’s the main reason I came to Dyke House because I wanted to be on the Elite Squad. I was buzzing when I found out because my brother, Jack, is also on the Elite for golf. He was happy for me and I keep joking with him saying that I am going to be better than him.”
As well as playing for Durham, Amy has won numerous competitions including the Appleby Bowl and the George Crawford trophy. She said: “I started playing with plastic golf clubs aged four. I won my first competition aged eight. In the long term I would love to be a professional golfer.”
As a member of the Elite Development Squad Amy will receive golf lessons at Wynyard. Scholars on the programme also receive strength and conditioning sessions from Hartlepool Athletics’ coach John Spence, personalised kit, including a full tracksuit, and an Elite tie. There is the potential for trips and competitions depending on Covid-19 restrictions.
Zac Fitzpatrick, 12, said: “I am going to work hard and never give up. I want to be a professional cricket player and I want to be on the top tier of the Elite. It was really good on the trial at Durham, there were people from all over the county and it was a really good standard. I started playing because of my dad. My strongest point is bowling. Durham said I bowl at 60mph. I have played for all the teams from U11s up to seconds. I got 23 runs and a wicket for the seconds.”
The Elite Development Squad was first created at Dyke House in 2013 and it boasts professional footballers Harry Chapman (Blackburn) and Vinnie Steels (Sunderland) among its alumni. Year 11 student Will Cain is currently at Sunderland AFC. The scheme has produced National Schools’ golf champions and a swimming team that reached the national finals, among other success stories.
Joe Palmer, Coordinator of the Elite at Dyke House, said: “It is about providing an opportunity to get better. The Elite students will showcase the scheme but it is also about the ones who are close – striving to do better. The Elite Development Squad will provide top Elite coaching for football, dance, athletics, tennis, golf and rugby. Others can also apply and be on the Elite and we will look to help in other ways.”
For further information on the Elite Development Squad at Dyke House email [email protected]