Culford School is reaping the rewards of its sporting programme, as two promising pupils get top opportunities.
Tom Hudson has been selected to join the Delancey British Under-21 National Alpine Ski Team, while Tom Brown has just signed a professional contract with top rugby side Brive.
Brown, 18, from Bury St Edmunds will start training for the Top 14 outfit — the French rugby premiership — on August 2.
The former Northampton Saints Academy player is eagerly brushing up on his French, and he will be living with other members of the academy.
Brown has had injury struggles, but the French club were willing to give him an opportunity despite those setbacks.
He said: “Culford were very flexible in allowing me time off for rugby.
“Culford’s head of rugby, Mark Bolton, was a huge help in developing my game through one to one and group training, not to mention the injury support I received.
“Mark’s expertise as a former professional was excellent to draw upon for my own rugby career.”
Bolton said: “I am absolutely delighted for Tom.
“He has worked very hard over the last three years and has overcome injury that kept him out of a number of games for Northampton Saints.
“This opportunity provides him with a chance to further his rugby education and career.
“ At Culford, we wish him well in his new venture in France.”
Meanwhile, Hudson, 16, spent the spring term on the Alpine slopes, training and competing with the British Ski Academy — and will now embark on senior racing under the International Ski Federation (FIS).
It follows a successful winter season for the Under-16 British slalom champion, who is now being given an opportunity to transition into adult racing.
It is an exciting step which will require him to commit to extensive fitness and race training with the British Ski Academy.
Head of Culford senior sport, Andrew Northcote, said: “Everyone at Culford is extremely proud of Tom’s selection.
“He is a very talented and hard-working pupil, both academically and in sport.
“He is in regular communication with tutors whilst on his travels and has made excellent use of Google classroom.”
Culford is a co-educational school for boys and girls, which prides itself on its sporting programme.