Two students, both from Richard Huish College, Taunton, have been awarded at this year’s Pride of Somerset Awards for outstanding contributions in their nominated field.

The awards ceremony was held at the Taunton campus of Bridgwater and Taunton College, where all 10 winners and their families were treated to an evening of entertainment and recognition for their hard work.

Niamh Holland holding cricket bat

First to be awarded was BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Sport student, Niamh Holland, who was nominated by Sport Teacher, Tom Priest.

In his nomination, he highlighted her Cricketing success stating “Niamh was selected to be part of the first ever England Women’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup team due to her aggressive batting style and safe pair of hands in the field.

“Following her call up to the national squad in 2022, she travelled to Loughborough every weekend for training – all of this as a full-time Sport student at Huish!

“Niamh was put straight into the line-up for the Under 19 World Cup team that travelled to South Africa, batting at number three and becoming one of England’s key run scorers for the tournament. She hit 59 runs in the opening game versus Zimbabwe, and in doing so became the first female Under 19 England player, and indeed any world player, to reach the half-century landmark at a Women’s Under 19 World Cup. A fantastic achievement!

“Niamh went into the World Cup final full of confidence and played in her aggressive and creative style of batting, scoring a valuable 10 runs against some of the best spin bowlers the women’s game has to offer.

“Niamh was England’s second highest run scorer at the World Cup, second only to Captain and Player of the Tournament Grace Scrivens. Upon arrival back in the UK she was offered a full-time professional contract with the ‘Western Storm team.

“Despite her huge success at such a young age, Niamh is as humble as she is talented. An inspiration to young people across not only Somerset but the rest of the world!”

Award winner with parents

Second to be awarded on the evening, was Huish A Level student, Jack Sweeney, who was nominated by his Huish Basketball Coach, Gary Carter.

Gary spoke highly of Jack’s volunteering efforts to help younger players, saying “Jack Sweeney is a remarkable and passionate young man who has been volunteering as a Coach for Huish Taunton Tigers Basketball club, coaching within the Under 12’s community programme on a Saturday morning for the past year.

“He travels in early by bus but is always full of enthusiasm and ready to give his all to the U9s sessions he supports. Any new player who joins the session is greeted with a smile and Jack ensures that they are cared for and have a great time, designing and coaching practices that are high energy and catering for all levels, which is a huge skill.

“Over the year his confidence has grown to the extent that he now leads on the session, supporting other coaches within the club including the U14s and lending a hand where required across the club. Jack also referees for the club and over the year has gained his Level 2 Referees Award to go with his Level 1 Coaching Award”.