Students have head for heights

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STUDENTS at a County Durham college have been showing their skills in some unusual sports.

Young people from East Durham College’s arboriculture team proved they all had a great head for heights by taking part in two different events, with climbing being the aim of the game in both.

The team’s first success came when the college came first in The Arboricultural Association’s Arborist Tree Challenge at Kirkley Hall College in Northumberland. The team of three, Josh Dixon, 17, from Murton, Jack Murray, 16, from Sunderland and James Blades, 20, from Shildon, came out on top against other teams from across the country to claim the national title with their tree challenge skills.

Students from the Houghall campus in Durham City then travelled to Scotland to take part in the Royal Highland Show, competing in the novice category of the Pole Climbing competition.

The competitors had to race up a 100ft pole and the East Durham College team netted fantastic results, taking seven of the top 10 places including first, second and third.

Ben Richmond, 19, from Bishop Auckland, took first place, John Burton, 16, from Sunderland, come in second and Josh Dixon was third.

And, not to be outdone by the lads, Lois Milburn, 30, also added to the team’s prize haul by winning the ladies category.