March 25, 2022
Two sporting talents from Northern education Trust Dyke House Academy have earned regional recognition for their performances in water and on a cricket pitch. Teachers at the Hartlepool secondary school are proud to have learned of call-ups for swimmer Shay Wood and cricketer Zac Fitzpatrick.
Shay, 15, was in action at the English Schools’ Swimming Association’s Inter-Divisional Championships representing the North-East in Coventry. He finished fourth in the country and Zac, 12, has been rewarded for his ability with bat and ball by being named in the Cleveland Schools’ cricket team and he is currently trialling for Durham County too. Both schoolboys are enrolled on Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad sports programme.
Joe Palmer, the coordinator of the Elite Squad, said: “It’s fantastic news. Every time I speak to Shay he is always training, mornings before school and then again after school. He sacrifices so much to develop his talent and deserves it. Zac represents Dyke House at football, rugby and cricket. He is a true all-rounder in cricket and his versatility in other sports. He’s good at everything and is dedicated, which is shown by how he attends after school clubs. He would do anything to help and will try to turn his hand to anything and do it well too. Both Shay and Zac deserve their call-ups and we are all delighted for them.”
Shay, Year 10, has swam since the age of seven when he joined Hartlepool’s Aquaforce. Over the years he has become one of the best in the country. He qualified in the 200m backstroke at Coventry, having risen to sixth in the UK in that discipline. He competed against others a year above. The former Eldon Grove pupil now swims for the Borough of Stockton Swim Scheme, and regularly competes in other events. In November he won the short course NER 400m freestyle as well as the 200m backstroke, and in the most recent Northumberland & Durham Championships he won the 50m backstroke and claimed silver in other events.
Shay said: “It is a good achievement because there is only me and Alexandru Lazar from Sunderland from this area who is up there with me. I know I am developing, becoming quicker and I have one eye on the British Summer Championships too but I hope to do well in Coventry.”
Zac, in Year 8, plays for Hartlepool Cricket Club was the top run scorer in the league they compete in last season and he has picked up more and more wickets. As part of the Elite programmme at Dyke House he feels that the strength and conditioning sessions with John Spence are hugely benefitting his progress.
The former Holy Trinity pupil said: “I got the through three weeks of trials to be selected in the top 18 by Cleveland Schools. It makes me feel proud to think I am the only one from my age group to be picked out of the teams in the town. I am getting faster, more flexible and energetic through the sessions I have at school. I would love to keep going and get on to bigger stages, see where it takes me – even though I am also focused on school work – cricket is a huge part for me.”
For further information on the Elite Development Squad at Dyke House email [email protected]