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Rhys Norrington-Davies has joined Rochdale from Sheffield United Dale swoop for Blades defender RHYS Norrington-Davies from Premier League side Sheffield United has joined Rochdale AFC on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old highly-rated left-back completed his move to Rochdale on a season-long loan. Norrington-Davies started his career at Swansea City before joining the Blades in the summer of 2017. The Wales Under-21 interna- tional spent the 2018/19 cam- paign out on loan at Barrow, notching up 28 appearances for the Bluebirds. Norrington-Davies said: “It has been a long process to get to this point, but now that it has been confirmed, I’m delighted. “I’m really pleased that it’s a season-long loan. The lads are a great bunch, as is the manager. “I’ve had a couple of training sessions with the squad now and I know what it’s about and what the gaffer wants from me.” Manager Brian Barry-Murphy said: “The left-back position has been a priority this summer. “We felt that while we develop our own younger left-backs with- in the club, it was imperative that we had a player who is capa- ble of coming in and making us a stronger team. We feel as though Rhys is that player. “Rhys is a player that we know very well and that we’ve mon- itored for a period of time. He is a very energetic and vibrant player. He’s got an appetite for the game, and he attacks and de- fends in equal level of intensity and focus. “He brings something different to the squad and complements the other members of our squad.” Record week for Hornets Foundation THE Rochdale Hornets Foun- dation is celebrating its most successful week in the foun- dation’s history after reach- ing over 700 children. The foundation engaged youngsters with fun and ac- cessible rugby league coaching and games, at seven primary schools across the borough -Lit- tleborough Community Primary School, St Michael’s Primary School in Bamford, Sandbrook Community Primary School, St Luke’s Primary School in Heywood, Alice Ingham RC Primary, Holy Trinity Primary School and Harwood Park Pri- mary School. The foundation also visited Wardle Academy, as well as providing extra-curricu- lar coaching aimed at kids and adults alike. Foundation chairman Niel Wood said: “We visited schools as part of Sports & Fitness Week, which saw us pull out all the stops to engage as many kids as possible and bring the benefits of physical exercise and rugby league to as many young people as possible in the borough. “We would like to put on record our thanks to all the teachers, staff and – of course – kids, who participated with such enthusiasm. “We took over training for the Rochdale Hornets women’s team, leading their sessions, as well as continuing with #Back- Onside, our training group aimed at over-35 men. Our #BackOnside group meets on Wednesdays at 7pm at Soccer Factory and is one of the larg- est groups in the country, help- ing men who have drifted away from physical activity to re-en- gage with sport and meet a few new mates in the process. Underwater Hockey members get GB call THREE Rochdale players have been selected to play for Great Britain, and a coach from the Ro- chdale club has been selected to be part of the coaching team in the Underwater Hockey World Age Group Championships in Sheffield in August. Tiegan Alexander, 18 and Ella Tomlinson, 15 have been selected for the women’s under 19s team. Tiegan has been playing under- water hockey since she was 10 years old and Ella since she was nine, and they have both played for Ro- chdale’s junior teams at all age lev- els, and also the Manchester C team and Lancashire Ladies over the last few years. Isaac Rhodes-Dawson, 17 has been selected for the men’s under 19s team, he joined the club when he was nine and has played for the Rochdale junior teams and currently competes with Manchester A team at the highest-level competitions. Tiegan, Ella and Isaac are all now focused on their fitness and skills training in the run up to the start of the World Championships in two months’ time. Mick Hyde has been selected as the Assistant Coach for the men’s under 19s team. Mick has been playing and coach- ing at Rochdale Underwater Hockey club for the last 38 years, helping to develop young players from their initial start at the club, through to national and international stan- dard players. Underwater hockey is a team- based sport, played with a plas- tic-coated lead puck on the bottom of the swimming pool. The puck is moved using small bats approximately 30cms long, players wear a mask, snorkel and a pair of fins and are required to hold their breath while underwater and playing the puck. It is a great team sport requiring teamwork, fitness and individual skills, and one of the only sports to be played in three dimensions. The Rochdale Underwater Hockey club meets at Oulder Hill school pool in Rochdale on Thursday evenings 7.30pm to 9pm. ‘Diabetic Kid’ back in action ROCHDALE box- er, ‘The Diabetic Kid’ Muhammad Ali is gearing up for his next fight on 3 August at the Oldham Lei- sure Centre. The fight will be undefeated Ali’s fifth bout as a pro- fessional, against an as-yet un- known opponent. Ali made histo- ry in September 2018, becoming the first UK boxer with type one diabetes to fight, following a three-year battle against the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC). Ali had previ- ously had his ap- plication for a pro- fessional licence Rochdale Hornets women’s team Tiegan Alexander and Ella Tomlinson Rochdale Underwater Hockey members selected for Great Britain turned down by the BBBofC as a re- sult of his medical condition, because checking blood sug- ar levels during a fight would be ‘too disruptive’ – de- spite contradictory advice from the national governing body for boxing. With the sup- port of manager Asad Shamim and medical doc- tor, Ian Gallan, a leading diabetes consultant in the UK, the decision was overturned. ‘The Diabetic Kid’ Muhammad Ali 32 July 2019 Follow us on facebook: yourlocalindependent SPORT