THE Westgate School in Winchester rolled out its Talented Athlete Programme (WTAP) this week, supported by local crowdfunding initiative, Steve’s Team.

The programme, involving Year 11 students from Henry Beaufort and The Westgate secondary schools, launched with presentations from Saracens and England rugby players Poppy and Bryony Cleall and British and Commonwealth record-holding swimmer, Imogen Clark.

The young athletes also visited the sport science department at Winchester University where they were able to watch and participate in a VO2 Max testing session as well as some bio-mechanics experiments.

Claire Fyvie-Rae, of The Westgate School, said: “For many years, our school has had a number of talented athletes who commit a substantial amount of time to their sport, training and travelling to competitions in the UK and beyond.

“The pupils have to juggle their time carefully in order to maintain their academic progress but also continue to excel in their sport.

“Around GCSE time this can become particularly difficult and this led me to think about what the school can do to support these pupils. We are delighted to be able to launch this programme in collaboration with Steve’s Team, a charity very close to our hearts, created to support local athletes.”

Marie Prince, from Steve’s Team, said: “Imogen, Poppy and Bryony are professional athletes who remember exactly how challenging it can be to pursue your sporting dreams whilst managing school and college life. We hope that their insight and encouragement will help our amazing young athletes find a way to continue to enjoy their sports and the proven benefits of physical activity through exam times and the transition to their next step.”

More information about Steve’s Team is available via

The Westgate is Hampshire’s first All Though School, taking children from the age of four to 16 years, uniquely placed to understand the learning journey from the Early Years Foundation Stage through to GCSE.