Staff and students at Nelson and Colne College Group have shown their sporting prowess in a series of initiatives organised by the Association of Colleges this summer.

After the College Group made a commitment to put health and wellbeing at the heart of life in lockdown, staff and students pounded the miles with walking and running activities in June by taking part in the AoC’s Go the Distance initiative. NCCG comprises of Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning.

It challenged colleges to run or walk a total of 456 miles – the equivalent distance from the AoC’s most Southern member (Truro and Penwith College) to the most Northern member (Northumberland College) – and Nelson and Colne College Group finished the month best in the North West and second nationally for distance achieved and number of activities recorded.

The result also meant that student Alex Ghailan, won a Garmin watch for the number of activities she recorded throughout the month.

It was the College Group’s second sporting summer success after student Matas Gaigalas placed as runner-up in the AoC Sport’s national Lockdown Championship by completing a series of basketball exercises against the clock.

Matas, 17, from Colne, studies A Level Business, Graphic Design and History at Nelson and Colne College having progressed from Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School.

Matas said: “I’m passionate about basketball and I put in a lot of practice for the challenge. I’m happy to come second in a national competition.

“I’m really enjoying College and it is a good place to study. I’ve been keeping up with my work during the lockdown period and I want to go into a career in Business in the future.”

Alex, 17, from Burnley, studies A Level Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology at Nelson and Colne College, and is previously of Unity College.

Alex said: “I wanted to improve my health and wellbeing during the lockdown period and I have definitely done that. I have been regularly walking 5km and I have found it peaceful and good for the mind.

“I made a good choice in picking Nelson and Colne College and I like my subjects. The extracurricular programme is good too and I have also taken up the A&E Cadets, which is supporting my ambition to become a paramedic.”

Alexis Turner, Extracurricular Co-ordinator at Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “I’m delighted that we have been named as winners of the AoC Sport Go the Distance Challenge for running and walking in the North West – we had achieved the distance at the end of the first week which is a fantastic result.

“We’ve really driven the initiative at the College Group to bring staff and students together, giving them the opportunity to participate in challenges, be active and improve their health and wellbeing. This has been especially important over the months of lockdown and the engagement by staff and students has been very strong.

“Congratulations go to Alex who was an extremely active member of our student community and is the recipient of the student prize for her engagement and contribution to the challenge. I would also like to congratulate Matas for his basketball performance in the AoC Sport Lockdown Championships – he was really deserving of his second place nationally.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress.

Accrington and Rossendale College now sits with its partner Nelson and Colne College as number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeships. For classroom achievement, at all ages and levels, Accrington and Rossendale College now places in the top five colleges nationally – a shared benefit from being part of the one of the leading College Groups nationally.

Applicants looking to apply to Nelson and Colne College or Accrington and Rossendale College still have the time. Visit or or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.