Sports Academy

Term 1 of the Elite Development Programme is now complete!

The PE department have put into place a bespoke, challenging and professional programme to develop the sporting excellence of the students of NDA.

Around 50 students have enrolled on the programme and are now benefitting from top quality coaching on a daily basis. It should not be underestimated the amount of time, effort and endeavour that has gone into organising the Elite Development Programme and the persistence of the students has been incredible to witness!

The programme follows a basic structure across three sports Rugby, Football and Basketball. Each discipline sees the students follow a weekly programme of activity that includes attacking skills – technical skills – strength & conditioning – defending skills and game play.


So far this season has seen the football team produce some incredible performances with outrageous one and two touch play the hallmark of the side. Performances have far outstripped the improving results and every opposing manager has commented on the amount of skill, desire and determination on show. Many of the football academy players are playing a year above their age group and are still turning in some stunning performances. This programme has been run in house by Mr Thomas and Mr Lee and has been superbly attended. Once the defensive skills of the team are brought up to scratch and the players finally hit their growth spurts, NDA will become a very serious force indeed.


This has proved to be the most popular programme on offer with more and more students wanting to take part. The incredible thing is that the vast majority of students involved had never previously represented the school in any sporting team and are now completely hooked! Thanks must go to the RFU and Coach Joe from Consett RFC who have provided vast amounts of funding and coaching expertise respectively. At a recent tournament the side put up an incredible performance for a team that was completely inexperienced. Three or four of the side have already caught the eye of Consett RFC scouts and NDA are looking to establish strong links with the club that will hopefully finally bring Rugby to Stanley. A place on the KS3 curriculum is already assured!  Credit for the development of the rugby programme must also go to Mr Simpson and Miss Ritson who have worked tirelessly to develop the fitness, skills and opportunities for the players.


Again the basketball Academy is made up mainly of those students who have never represented NDA in any sport. Links with the Durham Wildcats and coach Todd (A US national) have helped to develop a group of eager kids into what is fast becoming a group of focussed and determined basketballers. Unlike the other sports academies the basketball team also consists of two female participants who are proving to be very good players. Now that the students have completed around 40 hours of skills training, the focus is leaning towards match play so that some long awaited fixtures can be played against some local rivals. Thanks must go to Miss Hardy who has regularly given up her time to assist in the coaching of the basketball team.


By the end of the year most of the students in the EDP will have completed 200+ hours of training in a specific sport. The hope is that NDA will become a local hub for sporting excellence and that more and more of the school’s students will want to be involved.

The future

Plans are being put together to expand links with local clubs in order to expand the reach of the sports academy. It is the hope of programme director Mr Thomas, that following Christmas  a girls strand of the EDP will have begun and is likely to include Netball ( in conjunction with Greencroft Ladies) as well as football which has seen an incredible surge in female participation. Staff are currently identifying Year 7 students who wish to take up a place in the sporting academy in the 2016-17 academic year, and we will also be looking for recruits to join Jack Carlin (a returning University Student) Jack Hair and Christa Colledge as part of the NDA coaching family.