Kesh Wins Outstanding Sporting Performance of the Year Award
Boys' Division Sport

Year 13 student Keshana Fonseka is this year’s winner of the Hindley Trophy at Bolton School Boys’ Division, which marks the outstanding sporting performance of the year. Kesh was rewarded after representing England U19s, scoring a century with 121 in his first innings against Ireland. Sadly, during his second innings, whilst on 76, he tore his meniscus which would eventually require surgery. This dashed his hopes of making the U19 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year but he has showed tremendous resilience to work his way back to full strength. As a member of the Lancashire Academy, last week Kesh was selected for the 2nd Xl and has eyes on turning professional next year. 

Other outstanding nominations for the coveted award included; Joe Nicholson and Oliver Hatton, who played football for England ISFA U16s, Joe also received a Scholarship at Huddersfield Town; Kieran Holt and Oscar Hatton, who represented England ISFA U15s and U14s respectively, Oscar also trained with the Welsh National side; Harry Roach and Daniel Bleakley, who were selected for the national side having represented the U13 North West ISFA side, alongside Ben Howarth and Brig Harkness; Benji Houghton, who played for Manchester United U12s and also played up for the U13s, recently playing in the Easter European Cup tournament against the likes of Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona where he was named in the team of the tournament; Ashton Morrissey, who won the Y7 Bolton Town Cross Country race; Dev Hasija and Corey Morgan, who were both selected for the Scottish Exiles Rugby programme, Dev, along with a further 7 boys, also was selected for the Sale Sharks DPP; Cooper Atherton, who was selected for the GB American Football side as well as representing Warrington Wolves at rugby league; Sam Fitzsimons, who represented England Water Polo; and Toby Hazelton, who finished 5th in the British U15s Gymnastics Championships, winning Bronze on the Floor. Team nominations included: the Y7 football team who are Town Champions; the Y8 football team who are town champions; and the U14 rugby side who won two 7s' competitions with their Lancashire Plate Final still to be played.

Kesh’s award was part of an assembly which saw half- and full-colours awarded to boys across a wide range of sports. Mr Chilton, Director of Sport, explained how nominations are carefully considered by the Colours’ Committee, comprising Heads of the school’s various sporting programmes. Students earning full school colours also received a gold pin badge to wear proudly on their blazer lapel. Those who earned half colours received a silver pin. Mr Chilton told pupils that: ‘These badges are a symbol of your commitment, skill and contribution to your sport and to our school. Congratulations to all of our winners.’

Starting with Hockey, the role of Mr Robson who has led this sport for the last 26 years was recognised - his efforts and dedication evidenced by the number of hockey colours awarded. Awards were then made for strong contributions to water polo. It had been another successful season with a young U18s’ side finishing in fourth place at the Nationals while the U15s won the National Plate. The U13s’ finals will take place later this term. Sam Fitzsimons continued in a long line of Bolton School Water Polo players to receive international honours. Swimmers received their colours after successfully retaining the famous Cutty Sark Trophy and winning the Junior and Intermediate Town Championships. Awards were also made for pupil contributions to outdoor learning, an area that continues to grow under the expert guidance of Mr Bradley and his team. Colours too went to strong performers in paddle sports and climbing as well as rowing, badminton, chess and golf.

In cricket, School Captain Kesh Fonseka, along with numerous boys, are involved in the county programmes at Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Colours were bestowed upon players and more will be awarded later in the season at the annual MCC match. In rugby, boys received awards after the school’s U14s, U15s and U18s’ teams all reached the Lancashire Plate Finals, the U15 and U18s unfortunately falling short. The U14 Final will be played this term and the team hopes to add to the two 7s' tournaments they won earlier in the season at Bolton School and Bury Grammar School. The U13 and U14s enjoyed a successful end of season tour to Bath. A number of boys have been selected for the Sale Sharks DPP and Scottish Qualified programmes.

In football, where more awards were made, the Y7, 8 and 9 teams all reached the Town Cup finals. Although the Y9s narrowly lost, the Y7 and Y8 teams won their finals 5-0 and 3-0 respectively. The U15s ended the season winning the MGS Eights just before Easter. The U13 and U14 Football Squads have just returned from their tour of Portugal where they were unbeaten in six fixtures against some of Lisbon’s top local club sides. Various boys across the School are currently signed to professional academies and the school has seen at least one boy per year group represent ISFA at U13, 14, 15 and 16 level.

The Trevor Pledger Award for volunteering in sport went to Kevin Longthorne who, having received a rugby injury which excluded him from playing, turned his hand to refereeing where he has given up many hours both at School and for the Manchester rugby referees' society.

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