A SCHOOL based near York was one of three finalists going for the Independent Schools Association's Award 2020 for Outstanding Sport at a large school.

Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate, located at Thorpe Underwood, was the only establishment from the north of England in the final running for the prize.

The school finished a runner-up alongside Langley Prep, with LVS Ascot taking top spot.

Head teacher Jeff Smith said: ‘‘We’re thrilled to have been a finalist in this category in recognition of our outstanding sports offering here at QE.

"We’re proud of our tailored and inclusive approach to sports and wellbeing, which we offer from Nursery to Year 13, as part of a wide and varied curriculum.

"We encourage and support our students to be active and healthy. Students are given opportunities to try new sports and progress to whatever level they are able. Some students take part in a more intense and focused 'performance sports pathway' in their chosen field."

Contributing to its finalist status and evidencing its sporting prestige are the former pupils who have gone on to university scholarships and professional opportunities in the UK and internationally.

In 2020, Queen Ethelburga's saw three football students move on to the next chapter of their educational journey in the USA, to complete football scholarships at Eckerd College and Barry University in Florida, as well as Nyack College in the city of New York. One of the students has also signed a professional football contract with Coventry City Football Club.

Four students have signed professional rugby union contracts and five students have earned basketball scholarships to Findlay University in Ohio and Ave Maria University in Florida.

Head of sport Rob Rawlinson said: "Our students know that being part of 'TEAM QE' means having ambition and determination, team spirit, and demonstrating positive leadership, both on and off the pitch or court.

"Our aim is not only to develop our students physically and build them for success in their sporting ventures, but also holistically.

"The TEAM QE approach supports students to become better decision makers, something that helps them in every facet of their lives."