Talented runners have helped a North West team secure silver in a cross country competition.

Matthew Barnes, 16, and Thomas Marchant, 17, who study Sport and Exercise Sciences and an Engineering apprenticeship at Nelson and Colne College, took part in this year’s AoC Sports National Cross Country Championships, in Gateshead, Newcastle.

Individually, Matthew came 14th in 28 minutes and 19 seconds, while Thomas came 18th in 28 minutes and 46 seconds, out of 60 strong runners on a tough 7.5km course.

The duo were also second and third in a team of eight North West runners, helping the region gain silver overall.

Matthew, 16, who wants to go to university to do Sports Management after completing his course at NCC, said: “The championships were a great experience – this was my second time competing for the North West, so it was a really big deal for me. I was told about the opportunity by my tutor, and I did a trial and got onto the team.

“It was great to get silver. I have learnt a lot during my time at NCC, and my course has helped me to develop practically as well.”

And Thomas, 17, who is also a mountain runner, added: “It was really good doing the championships – very enjoyable. I found out about them through college, and the sports tutors encouraged me to take part.”

Students at Nelson and Colne College are encouraged to take part in enrichment opportunities, to help them develop a range of skills and ensure they stand out from the crowd when applying to university, an apprenticeship, or a job.

For more information about studying at Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272.