An end-of-year awards ceremony for members of the successful Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre has recognised students’ achievements in a year where Covid has impacted the world of competitive sport.

Members of the successful Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre have marked the end of the 2020-21 academic year with an awards ceremony with a difference.

In a year in which competitive sport on a regional, national and international stage has been impacted by Covid restrictions, the talented athletes reflected on a year where their focus had shifted to increased strength and conditioning training and making progress in the gym.

Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach in the Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Nathan Norris said:

“Our annual awards ceremony usually acknowledges those Elite Athletes who have excelled in competitions in their chosen sport. This year, due to Covid and many sporting events being cancelled, we’ve switched the focus to how our Elite Athletes have progressed in their training in the gym, how much commitment and resilience they’ve shown and how they’ve been role models to inspire and motivate others.

“Our Elite Athletes are truly outstanding and, over the course of the pandemic, have shown they have the mental, as well as they physical strength, to make it in their chosen careers in the world of sport and fitness – whether that’s as a world-class athlete or in a key profession in the industry. It was great to acknowledge that at the awards ceremony.”

This year’s Elite Athletes receiving top awards were:

Top Female Elite Athlete (Year 1) – Daisy Oldfield

Dasy (17), from Haslingden, is a figure skater whose ambition is to compete in ice dancing at the Olympics. A former pupil at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, Daisy is studying A Levels in English Language and Literature, Chemistry, Psychology and Dance alongside her training in the Elite Athlete Programme.

Top Male Elite Athlete (Year 1) – Ethan Rogers

Ethan (17), from Clitheroe, plays rugby union for Blackburn Colts and is committed to building his strength in the Fitness Evolution gym at College alongside his A Level studies in Mathematics, Physics and Product Design. He is a former pupil at Ribblesdale County Secondary School.

Top Female Elite Athlete (Year 2) – Liberty Thompson

Liberty (18), from Burnley, is a heptathlete, competing with Blackburn Harriers alongside her A Level studies in Geography, Psychology and Physical Education. She is a former pupil ay Burnley’s Unity College.

Top Male Elite Athlete (Year 2) – Max Rowntree

Max (18), from Mytholmroyd, plays rugby union for Heath Rugby Club and has just finished his Advanced Level Vocational Studies in Fitness Services. A former pupil of Calder High School, Max is planning to study a degree in Strength and Conditioning at Burnley College University Courses and continue his training with the Elite Athlete Programme.

The Elite Athlete Programme at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre continues to grow with, in the last academic year, 47 students (who are already competing at a high level in 16 different sports) receiving expert Strength and Conditioning Training, sports nutrition advice, psychological support to optimise their performance and access to physiotherapy. The Programme, led by three highly-qualified Strength and Conditioning coaches, has also been extended to offer specialist support to Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils already achieving great success in their chosen sport and on target to become the very best in the UK.

Burnley College Sixth Form Centre is also accredited by TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) which recognises its commitment to ensure that all students can seamlessly combine their academic studies and sporting commitments. Through established protocols, students do not miss out on the teaching and learning experience at the No 1 College in England* and are empowered to achieve the grades needed to ensure successful dual careers in competitive sport and the industry of their choice.

If the very best Strength and Conditioning coaching could help boost your sports performance even further, the Elite Athlete Programme is for you. Now is the time to enrol on your chosen course at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre or submit your application – and talk to us about the Elite Athlete Programme. Find out more at, call 01282 733373 or email

*in the latest Government achievement tables for students aged 16-18

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Published On: July 13th, 2021
Burnley College