It’s a ‘Question of Sport’ for rugby, netball, hockey and cricket stars during online Ashville Q&A specials

16th July 2020

Rising stars from the world of cricket, hockey, netball and rugby have been taking part in a series of online question and answer sessions with pupils, parents and staff from Harrogate’s Ashville College.

Director of Sport, Dominic Bradburne, has organised the live video specials where the audience not only gets a front row seat in these highly popular sessions, but more importantly has the opportunity to quiz the sportsmen and sportswomen about their careers, training regimes, inspirations and aspirations.

The first event kicked off with Worcestershire County Cricket Club players Ed Barnard and Pat Brown, which was followed by an audience with Bath Rugby Union players Joe Cokanasiga and Zach Mercer, son of Gary Mercer, the College’s Head of Rugby.

These were followed by live sessions featuring hockey players Ollie Payne and Nick Park, who both play for England, Kerry-Anne Hastings, who is a Senior Scottish international, and Sarah Bertram, who has a wealth of experience coaching within the Player Pathways, as well as being a lead coach at Durham University

From the world of netball, Anna Carter, a former England international who is now Director of Netball at Leeds Rhinos, and Jessica Shaw, who plays for Loughborough Lightning in the Vitality Super League, have both taken part.

Following on their heels were Yorkshire County Cricket Club players Jordan Thompson, Ben Coad and Harry Brook, all of whom have links with local league cricket clubs within 30 miles of Ashville.

Next was the turn of Harrogate Town Manager Simon Weaver and Nottingham Forest Captain and former England International Michael Dawson.

Whilst former England International Michael and his Forest teammates are chasing promotion to the Premier League, Simon is leading the charge as Town seek to enter the Football League for the first time in the club’s history.

Mr Bradburne, who joined Ashville at the beginning of this term, said: “I’d like to thank all of the sportsmen and sportswomen for participating in our question and answer sessions.

“The aim of the evenings is for the audience – pupils, staff and parents – to find out about the individuals, their careers, early influences, training programmes and future aspirations.

“Other questions posed over the course of the evenings included “Who’s your favourite teammate?”, “What has your diet been like during lockdown?”, “How do you cope with pressure?”, and “Do you have any pre-game superstitions?”

“Video conferencing is now the new norm and the plan going forward is to have these on a regular basis, where sports players can be ‘beamed in’ to Ashville from all over the world.”

For more information about Ashville visit or call 01423 566358.

Founded in 1877, Ashville College is a leading independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3-18 years. It is located in the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, and consists of Acorns Pre-Prep, Ashville Prep School, Ashville Senior School and Ashville Sixth Form. Ashville College is a member of HMC, BSA and IAPS, and an associate of the Methodist Independent Schools Group.