HOLY Cross College teenagers Ellie Whitehead and Ruth Jackson have impressed for Great Britain in the women’s under-20s handball squad.

Eighteen-year-old Whitehead and Jackson, aged 16, currently play for Warrington Wolves in the National Handball League and have known each other since they were primary school children playing netball for Bury YMCA.

The GB teamrecently competed in the world championship qualification squad in Poland, and, despite an unsuccessful campaign in which the team failed to win a single match, the duo drew praise from the selectors. Head of PE at Holy Cross, Chris Shepherd, said: “They are both great students, both academically and when it comes to sports. We are extremely proud of them.’ Sporting achievements do not end there. The college gave an extremely good account of themselves earlier this year at the BCS (British College of Sports) National Finals at Bath University.

Swimmer Lucy Swithenbank, aged 18, won first place in the girls 200m free-style while Laura Mcdade, 17, finished second in the girls 200m individual medley.

In table-tennis there was further success, as students Eleanor Kelly and Megan Coop, both 17, won the girls doubles event. Tom Lomas and Gabrielle Kaye, both 18, finished third in the mixed doubles. The girls basketball team tasted glory too, with captain Lucy Rogan, 18, leading her team to second place.Meanwhile, at Holy Cross’ annual presentation Shannon Holt, 18, won the Tom Brown award after battling back from injury to star in the netball team. Rebecca Cooper, 18, received the Dr Thomas Arnold award, for her continous commitment and reliability both in sports and academics. Mary Elcock, 16, was handed the Mike’O’Hare award, for the student who has excelled in both academic and sporting arenas.

The team of the year award went to the swimming team.