Two students at Harrogate Grammar School Sixth Form have been selected for the North of England U18 rugby squad. Year 13 students, Barney Horberry and Fred Yates, were selected in February for the team which brings together players from six counties: Yorkshire, Lancashire, Northumberland, Cumbria, Cheshire and Durham. They made their debut last Sunday against The Midlands.
Fred and Barney earned their stripes playing for many years at Harrogate Rugby Club.
We’ve been there for much of our lives,” . “I started playing when I was 4 and played for the under 5s.
I started playing football originally, until I found rugby at Harrogate Grammar School in Year 7.
The Sixth Form Sports Academy programme at Harrogate Grammar School has been a huge boost, allowing Fred and Barney the time to incorporate rugby into their busy school week. The Academy runs in conjunction with a full academic programme of study, providing a platform to excel both on the pitch and in the classroom.
The Academy, has timetabled our studies with rugby. We’re taught within the school day which allows us time afterwards to do our homework, extra revision and also train elsewhere. We train twice a week for the Academy, on top of school training and club training.
Both boys agree that Mr Ryder, Director of Sport, has been a key part of their success.
None of us are professional players but Mr Ryder treats us as if we are. It’s a very professional set-up and it’s really helped me to progress. We’re competing at a higher level and it all really helps with our mindset and our confidence. Rugby is just as much about attitude as the physical skills.
Tom Ryder, Director of Sport, said:
It’s so exciting to see Barney and Fred reach this level, they have both worked so hard for it. To be selected for the North of England is a huge achievement.
Neil Renton, Headteacher at Harrogate Grammar School, said:
The core purpose of the Sports Academy programme is to provide students with the best possible environment to achieve their rugby or netball sporting ambitions alongside academic excellence. We are extremely proud of Barney and Fred and what they have achieved with their dedication and commitment.