FUTURE Olympic stars will now be able to train at the Deanes School after news it has become a designated training camp for Team GB.
Despite the school’s future still hanging in the balance, Archery Great Britain has selected the sports specialist school in Daws Heath Road, Thundersley, to become one of their training academies for up and coming athletes.
It will mean youngsters interested in archery will be able to train alongside coaches from Team GB and potentially be put on a training programme aimed at getting them to the podium.
John Wilson, Archery Great Britain ambassador and senior coach at Rayleigh Town Archery Club, based at the school, said: “Its because we are so highly esteemed that Archery Great Britain has asked us to do this.
“If the school closes, I honestly don’t know where else our club could go, and it would be denying students all these wonderful opportunities.”
Talented Deanes pupil Lauren Bann, 13, is now on the Olympic programme after training at the club since she was nine.
Lauren, who trains around 20 hours a week, said: “I would love to be in the Olympics and be able to represent our country. I just love that it is such a relaxing sport, I really enjoy it and I’m learning so much from the Olympic coaches. The school is so accommodating as well, they even open the school early so I can practice.”
Lauren’s mum Marcel Bann, 43, of Seamore Road, Hadleigh, said Essex County Council had failed to take into account where star scholars would find equal facilities elsewhere.
The announcement was made at a public meeting last Thursday held by the Office of Schools Adjudicator inspector David Lennard, who has the power to overturn the decision to close the school.
Mr Lennard said he hoped to make his recommendation by the end of February.
Residents still have until Thursday to make their views known to the adjudicator.