Chichester College student Aliya Seehawong has helped Pulborough Rugby Club to a national championship.
The 17-year-old was part of the under-18 girls team who beat Newark 36-7 in the under-18s national final at the weekend.
Seehawong, who is studying biomedical science at the college, has been playing rugby for three years – having become interested after watching her brother compete.
She said: “I feel very proud. We didn’t reach the final last year, so we were really determined to get there this year.
“We’ve been undefeated all season, we’ve got a really strong team so we were very happy to have won the championship.”
She also trains as part of the Chichester College Rugby Academy. She added: “I think the training with the academy has helped me develop as a player.
I like being part of a team, all working together with the same goal.
“At the moment, the girls are training with the boys – as they play differently, it helps us to learn different styles.
“I’m hoping next season, we’ll have a few more girls in the squad and maybe we can form our own team. That would be good.”
Since joining the academy, Seehawong was selected to play in the AOC South East regional rugby team and recently competed in a rugby sevens competition in Nottingham.
Seehawong said: “That was a really good experience – we won four out of our seven games, playing against some big sides.
“I started rugby three years ago, so I’ve come to the game later than some of the other girls but I’m really enjoying it.
“I like being part of a team, all working together with the same goal. The Pulborough team, the academy and the regional team – everyone is really friendly and we support each other.”