Blues star Joe Jacobson helped pupils from Highcrest Academy fulfil part of their Supporter to Reporter project this week.The left-back answered questions from 15 students who are taking part in the initiative, co-ordinated by the Matrix Centre here at Adams Park.
The programme supports the development of young people’s speaking, listening and writing skills as they learn about what it takes to become a sports reporter.
The youngsters, aged 13-14, were firstly treated to a special presentation by Sky Sports commentator Alan Parry, who has kindly agreed to be an ambassador of the programme, and he gave an overview of his role and the ever-changing world of sports broadcasting.
They were also given a tour of Adams Park by head of media Matt Cecil, who described a typical matchday from a journalist’s perspective, and on Thursday, the pupils had the chance to test their interviewing skills on Joe Jacobson with the help of BBC Three Counties reporter Phil Catchpole.
The ‘Supporter to Reporter’ (S2R) project focuses on developing the students’ capabilities with technology such as recording equipment and iPads, as well as improving their teamwork and ability to work to tight deadlines.
The 20-hour programme culminates with a matchday experience, which takes place against Shrewsbury on Saturday, requiring the participants to put their skills into practice in the real world, acting as professional journalists producing video, audio, blogs and images.
Students will get the opportunity to publish their work on the social media website Makewaves (https://www.makewav.es/s2r) and rewards them with digital ‘badges’ called S2R medals, which are transferable online markers of achievement.
The pupils will have the chance to showcase their work to parents and teachers at a special presentation evening at Adams Park on Thursday 26th March, and the club hopes to be able to share some of the content with supporters using its own online channels.
Julie Wilson, manager of the Matrix Centre, said: “It’s been fantastic to see the students develop their skills over the course of the programme and I think it’s been a fascinating insight for them to learn more about sports reporting at a professional level.
“We’d like to thank Alan Parry for giving up his time to pass on his expertise, and also Joe Jacobson who faced some tough questions but played an important role in helping them with their interviewing techniques.”