Billesley Primary School have called in professional help for their forthcoming annual sports day.
As part of an ongoing collaboration with local theatre company Stan’s Cafe, pupils from the Birmingham school will now enjoy live and recorded coverage of their sporting triumphs courtesy of two professional radio commentators.
Over the last 12 months, Stan’s Cafe have worked with Billesley students to create a giant marble run that looped the entire school, a performance installation based on human statistics, a photo story version of Treasure Island, films about space, and a board game that teaches about the Tudors. Throughout, Stan’s Cafe’s focus has been on learning in fresh and creative ways, encouraging imaginative thinking and problem solving, and helping to make school life as fun as possible.
The playful new Sports Day continues this approach as Year One pupils have helped design banners in the house colours, and Stan’s Cafe are bringing The Commentators, two of their favourite characters, to the event.
P.E. teacher Michelle Miller has found ways of tweaking classic school sports day events to encourage both competition and teamwork whilst keeping everyone involved, and The Commentators will be on hand to chart the passage of beanbags, hockey balls, and the standing long-jump relay, as well as interviewing the children to build their confidence and encourage their communication skills.
The Commentators were first heard providing an uninterrupted webcast radio commentary for Stan’s Cafe’s 24 Hour Scalextric race in 2009, and have subsequently commentated on unusual events for Eastside Projects and Fierce Festival. In 2011 they provided exclusive live commentary of The World Gurning Championships in Egremont Cumbria, and are now going to give Billesley pupils the professional treatment: entertaining parents by describing the action, keeping track of the scores race by race, and playing bursts of suitable music between events.
All they hope for now is good weather on Thursday 11 July at the Moseley Rugby Ground, Billesley (12 July is the reserve day in case it rains).
Johanne Clifton Headteacher says: “It has been really exciting working with Stan’s Cafe this year and it has created a real ‘buzz’ across the school amongst our children and families. I am sure having our own special commentators will make our Sports Day into a wonderful event and attract even more parents and the community to come along and give their support”
James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan’s Cafe (and one half of The Commentators), says: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the fun at the Sports Day this is a playful project but rest assured, The Commentators will be taking it very seriously indeed.
“This event concludes a great year for us at the school. I hope the pupils and staff have enjoyed the experience as much as we have, and we look forward to working with them all again next academic year.”
For more information on Stan’s Cafe see: www.stanscafe.co.uk