9 March 2017
Loughborough College sport apprentice Leah Barlett has achieved her first cap for England Women.
The 18 year old rugby player, who earned a place with the national side last summer, not only started for the U20 squad but also scored in a 38-15 defeat against Army Women in Aldershot.
Leah is in her second year of the Women’s RFU AASE programme at Loughborough College, studying BTEC Sports Science.
“It was great to be selected for England last year. I first went to the U20s trial when I was only 16 and wasn’t successful. But after being on the programme at Loughborough College for almost a year I felt I had really benefited from my lessons and additional training and went in feeling much more confident.
“I was hoping to make the team for three test matches against Canada last summer but at my first camp I got a severe whiplash injury which meant I was not eligible. That was frustrating and upsetting but after I had recovered I worked hard and got myself back to peak fitness.
“To be selected for the squad against the Army was amazing in itself but then to start, get 60 minutes and score a try…
“The pressure in the scrums was so powerful, like nothing I had experienced before, but we had a strong front row and I just got on with it. It was a great experience.”
Leah is celebrating receiving offers from all five universities she has applied to.
She went on to say:
“I am so grateful to the College and the programme. Their support has been amazing. I am getting so many opportunities on and off the pitch.”
Chris Parr, Women’s RFU AASE coordinator at Loughborough College commented:
“It’s really pleasing to see Leah achieve her goal of being capped for England at U20’s level. She’s worked extremely hard to get selected firstly into the squad, then to start against the Army.
“This is a credit to Leah’s attitude and dedication. In the last couple of seasons she has switched positions to hooker and now for her to get a cap shows that with the right work ethic and level of determination, players will be rewarded. I also think it is important to acknowledge that Leah has managed her achievements in rugby alongside her academics.
“I have known Leah since her early teenage years and it’s been great to see her develop within the Midlands pathway and then with us for two years at Loughborough College.
“I’m sure her family and friends are extremely proud of Leah and we hope this is the start of a great period for her, achieving her U20’s cap and then moving on to university as well.
“It is really satisfying to see players looking to play rugby at the highest level can achieve their academic and sporting goals whilst they are here with us at Loughborough College.”
For more information contact Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant, Loughborough College on 07515 852690 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Loughborough College was established in 1909 and has a long and proud standing reputation for providing excellent levels of high quality teaching and training across Leicestershire.
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