South Shields Football Club encourages youngsters to be media stars of the future as part of new schools project

South Shields player Blair Adams with, from left, Westoe Crown pupils Penny Simpson, Molly Jewitt and Lillie Oliphant.
South Shields player Blair Adams with, from left, Westoe Crown pupils Penny Simpson, Molly Jewitt and Lillie Oliphant.

Eleven youngsters were given the chance to be sports reporters for a day as part of a new project by South Shields Football Club.

Pupils from Westoe Crown Primary School and St Bede’s RC Primary and Nursery School, both in South Shields, took part in a media workshop at The Word library in South Shields - where they were able to have a go at recording and capturing their matchday experience.

Blair Adams watches on as the youngsters prepare to read out their match reports.

Blair Adams watches on as the youngsters prepare to read out their match reports.

They were among 150 children from the two schools who attended the Mariners’ game against Mickleover Sports earlier this month.

The 11 were then invited to attend the workshop led by artist James Whitman.

He was helped by South Shields defender Blair Adams - who has a degree in sports journalism - club media officer Daniel Prince and Foundation manager Steve Camm.

The event was part of the club’s plan to establish itself as a community-based, sustainable Football League-ready club by 2023.

The children prepare for their big moment in front of the cameras.

The children prepare for their big moment in front of the cameras.

As part of this, the club is aiming to forge partnerships with schools and The Word.

Mr Adams said: “I was really impressed with all of the children and there are definitely some reporters of the future among the group.

“They did a fantastic job working in a live studio at The Word, first writing a match report before then reading it out on camera.

“I know how difficult that sort of thing is as I did a lot of it while studying for my degree, so the children did really well.”

Pupils taking part in the project were joined by South Shields player Blair Adams, back, and artist James Whitman.

Pupils taking part in the project were joined by South Shields player Blair Adams, back, and artist James Whitman.

Westoe Crown and St Bede’s were the first two schools to take part in South Shields Football Club’s new schools programme.

Adams, as well as team-mates Carl Finnigan, Daniel Wright and Ursene Mouanda, are visiting primary schools across the borough to answer questions and encourage youngsters to attend games.

This week, they visited Sea View Primary School and Stanhope Primary School as they continue to recruit the ‘Class of 2023’ - youngsters they hope will be the 12th man by the time they turn 16 and the club is, as it aims to be, Football League-ready in five years’ time.
The Sea View and Stanhope pupils will attend Saturday’s game against Matlock Town at Mariners Park before a number of them will be selected to attend the same media workshop.

Tania Robinson, head of marketing and culture at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, said: “We’re delighted that The Word has been able to play a part in this exciting venture, which has hopefully fuelled young people’s interest in literacy by sharing their sporting experience.”

From left to right, Westoe Crown pupils Matthew Bennett, Isaac Cave and Tom Hobson taste life as a football reporter.

From left to right, Westoe Crown pupils Matthew Bennett, Isaac Cave and Tom Hobson taste life as a football reporter.

The Word in South Shields.

The Word in South Shields.