Bedford Girls’ School celebrates success of sporting alumnae sisters

Maddie (left) and Kate Axford. Images: England Hockey and Worldsportpics/Pablo Sevilla

Two sisters who studied at Bedford Girls’ School (BGS) are continuing to make waves on the international sporting stage.

Kate and Maddie Axford are achieving success in athletics and hockey, with both representing England in their chosen fields.

2017 alumna Kate Axford was once again selected to represent Team England in The Cross Italica 10k on Sunday 12 November in Seville, the fourth World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold meeting of the season.

The Belgrave Harriers star placed an impressive eighth overall and was the third European to cross the line, achieving a time of 35:21.

After experiencing a prolonged injury in her international hockey career, Kate decided to switch to athletics last year, and she hasn’t looked back.

She recently won the Comeback 5000m at Battersea in 15:49.79 (23 April) and claimed victory in her first-ever 3000m race at the Loughborough International in 9:06.02 (21st May).

Kate completed her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in 2017 and pursued Geography at the University of Exeter from 2017 to 2020.

In parallel, her younger sister Maddie, who left BGS in 2021, is set to represent England Hockey at the upcoming Junior World Cup in Chile from 29 November to 10th December.

Maddie’s dedication and skill have propelled her through the ranks, earning her a coveted spot in the GB Women’s Elite Development Programme squad. Her contribution to England Hockey’s historic bronze win at the Junior Women’s World Cup in South Africa in 2022 was monumental.

She also won the Young Achiever Award at the 2022 Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes awards, held in April this year.

Young Achiever Maddie Axford (r) with Lindsay Ephgrave from Bedford Heights at the Quarry Theatre for Bedford Independent Everyday Heroes Awards 2022
Young Achiever Maddie Axford (r) with Lindsay Ephgrave from Bedford Heights.

Maddie continues to study International Media and Communications at the University of Nottingham and also represents the first hockey team in the BUCS Championships.

Director of sport at BGS, Mrs Verity Mason-McLeod, commented: “We are committed to nurturing and inspiring future generations of female athletes as we build confidence and skills in young women, free from gender stereotyping.

“Through specially developed programs to support sportswomen, I know our younger students are inspired by the outstanding accomplishments of many of our alumnae on the global sporting stage.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Maddie and Kate’s achievements.”