Proud four on Beaminster School bobsleigh team

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: IN THE TEAM: Amy Nicholson, Jonah Ayunga, Skyler Herzog and Emma Harris (reporter/reserve) with head teacher Mike Best IN THE TEAM: Amy Nicholson, Jonah Ayunga, Skyler Herzog and Emma Harris (reporter/reserve) with head teacher Mike Best

THEY have done the trials to see who can run the fastest and jump the highest and now the Beaminster School bobsleigh team have been named.

They are Amy Nicholson, Jonah Ayunga, Skyler Herzog, with Emma Harris the reporter/reserve.

They were put through their paces by new governor Mark Carter and Olympian Olly Biddulph who will be the team’s driver.

The team was announced at a sixth form assembly and a special mention was made of Connor Townsend and Will Aburrow, who both excelled in the tests, but were too light to be selected for the four-man crew.

It is thanks to Mr Carter they have the chance as he is operations director for the British Bobsleigh team. He will also be a competitor himself.

Mr Carter said: “Bobsleigh requires an unusual blend of power, strength and speed – an Olympic four-man bobsleigh athlete would be somewhere between 95 and 115kg, and be able to run 100 metres in well under 10.5 seconds.

“The athletes selected best met these criteria, which were measured by standing long jump, which indicates explosive power, standing start 30-metre sprint, which indicates acceleration and a flying 30-metre sprint, which indicates top speed.

“The Beaminster School athletes selected did well at these tests and will commence training at the University of Bath push track in the New Year, with their driver, Olly Biddulph.”

Olly is currently ranked as the GB4 driver, and although he won’t be in the winter Olympic team, he will be representing Great Britain at the end of January in the Junior World Bobsleigh Championships at Winterberg, Germany. The sixth form team will have their chance to make history – by being the youngest-ever British bobsleigh team to compete in the British Championship games in Austria next year.

They will go head to head with the best UK Olympic athletes.

Olly took the GB two-man bobsleigh to fifth place in the 2012 Olympic Winter Games.

Even with the GB4 athlete, who turns 21 in January, the team will be the youngest-ever British team to compete.

Headteacher Mike Best said: “It is just a remarkable opportunity.”

Mr Carter added: “Beaminster will be the only school in the country to be doing it.”

The team faces a tough challenge racing as they will be on a concrete track where the sleigh will reach speeds of up to 80mph, drop 100 metres and negotiate 14 corners, withstanding three and a half G forces.

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