Champion pupils uphold school's sporting ethos

Pupils at Lathallan School are pushing themselves to achieve national and regional excellence in sport, with four currently holding British champion titles for their age groups.
Swimmer Dean Fearn recently took four gold medals, a silver medal and eight Scottish records in competition.Swimmer Dean Fearn recently took four gold medals, a silver medal and eight Scottish records in competition.
Swimmer Dean Fearn recently took four gold medals, a silver medal and eight Scottish records in competition.

In addition more than 10% of senior school students are competing at a regional or national level

Three of the British champions come from one fourth year group alone – Dean Fearn, Arabella Blackburn and Aisla Arbuthnott in judo. The fourth British champion is Benjamin Cranston, who is in his leaving year.

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Stonehaven-based Dean Fearn broke the British record for the 13-14-year-old 50m Butterfly by 0.27 of a second at the British Summer Swimming Championships in Sheffield earlier this year making him the fastest 14-year-old in Britain in the stroke. Along with this British record, he came home from the Championships with four gold medals, a silver medal and eight Scottish records. He hopes to compete at World Championships and the Olympics in future.

A keen cyclist from the age of three, 14-year-old Arabella Blackburn won the Under 14 British Championships Road Criterium in London in 2021 and won the 2022 Scottish Criterium Championships in September and the Scottish Cyclocross Championships in November, both in the Under 16 category. Arabella has also recently been selected for CyclingClassNL, a talent development programme for 15–18-year-olds in The Netherlands.

Ailsa Arbuthnott is the current British Champion for the British Judo Council (BJC), and most recently took third place in the Scottish Closed Championships. She is a member of the National Development Squad and recently completed an FPJ (Fundamental Principles of Judo) course, which will allow her to become a qualified coach when she turns 16.

Benjamin Cranston, from Monikie, recently won his mixed martial arts (MMA) British Champion Under 18 title at the World United Martial Arts (WUMA) National Championships in Worcester.

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Headmaster Richard Toley said: “We welcome the broad-ranging skills that sports can equip young people with here at Lathallan. Participating in sports also helps to improve their self-confidence and develop a solid work ethic and teamwork skills.”

“That is something we see from all our pupils, including those we will be celebrating at our annual Sports Awards Dinner this Friday.

The hard work and dedication that the individuals joining us this coming Friday put in to excelling in their chosen sports is commendable, as are the efforts of our excellent teaching staff, who work tirelessly to help bring pupils on in a wide variety of sports, or to ensure their ability to succeed academically around other commitments.”

At the annual Lathallan Sports Dinner, Dean, Ailsa, Arabella, Ben and two fellow pupils – Harry Cook, Scottish National Youth Under 12 Triathlon Champion, and Adam Woodhouse, Scottish Schools Under 15 Javelin Champion, are all nominated for Lathallan Sports Personality of the Year 2022. The pupils will be joined at the event by inspirational guest speaker, Ross Campbell, CEO of Oriom, Scotland’s National Sports Performance Centre, and Assistant Manager of Montrose Football Club. Red Caps will be awarded to those gaining national honours, and the school will announce its winners for the Team of the Year award.