England international named top of the class

Ashleigh Pink (centre), with Ben Fogle (left) and Tim Campbell OBE, picking up her award for achievement beyond the classroom. ANL-150320-113637001
Ashleigh Pink (centre), with Ben Fogle (left) and Tim Campbell OBE, picking up her award for achievement beyond the classroom. ANL-150320-113637001

A student who has gained international recognition for her basketball talent has been presented with an award for her commitment.

Ashleigh Pink, 16, from Ormiston Sudbury Academy, received the achievement award at the first ceremony held by academy sponsor Ormiston Academies Trust.

The award was one of nine which highlighted the achievements of students and staff in the academy network.

The Year 11 pupil from Sudbury was nominated for her commitment and determination that led to her developing from a school basketball player to an England international in 2014.

Victories against Israel, Slovenia, Norway and Holland in the under 16s European Championships last summer meant a final appearance against Germany.

England lost but Ashleigh is determined to continue her progression and develop as an athlete.

Her achievements were honoured at a special awards ceremony in London, where she was presented with a plaque and certificate by Tim Campbell OBE, entrepreneur and first winner of The Apprentice, and author, presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle.

Attendees included politicians, top businesses and representatives from the education world, including Ucas and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Ashleigh said: “It was a surprise to even be nominated for an award, but it was an amazing opportunity to be with people like Ben Fogle and Tim Campbell.

“It was a great night and a memory that will stay with me even after I leave the academy.”

Ashleigh plans to continue playing basketball and will resume training with the England squad this summer.

Professor Toby Salt, chief executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “We are staggered by the talent and enthusiasm of students like Ashleigh.

“We need to celebrate this and we need to nurture it, to ensure that our students all have the same opportunities as everyone else.”