Two Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy students are celebrating national success in the Arts and sport.

Niamh Eagles has been selected to perform with the English Youth Ballet and Oliver Jasper has been chosen to play for the England indoor junior cricket team.

Oliver, 15, will go to Christchurch in New Zealand in October to compete in the World Indoor Cricket Federation 2018 Junior World Series for the 15 and Under Boys team.

Oliver said he was excited to have been selected after progressing through the final trials.

He said: “Sixteen people from across the country were chosen for the trials and we did a couple of training sessions and some drills. I thought it went quite well and then I got an email saying that I’d been selected. It was quite a shock but I was really pleased. I’m really looking forward to it.

“Indoor cricket is like a really intense version of cricket and you really have to concentrate.

“I started playing Kwik Cricket and when I was nine I went with my coach to play indoor cricket. I have a condition which I will grow out of which causes a problem with the tendon in my knee and it meant that I couldn’t play cricket for four to six weeks which wasn’t ideal right before the trial.”

Meanwhile Niamh will perform with the English Youth Ballet in a production of ‘Cinderella in Hollywood’ at the Theatre Royal Nottingham at the end of July.

The 11-year-old said she was selected even though she missed the junior auditions.

She said: “We had been away to Australia and I was travelling back on the day of the audition. I’d taken three flights and got home quite early so I had some sleep but when we went to the audition we couldn’t find it so we missed the one I was supposed to take part in. They said I could do the senior audition instead which was quite hard so I was very happy to be chosen.”

Joan McCarthy, headteacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, in Kirk Hallam, congratulated Niamh and Oliver.

She said: “We are extremely proud of Niamh and Oliver and we wish them the best of luck. They are both very talented and are clearly hard-working and dedicated and they are fantastic ambassadors for our wonderful school.”

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