Rock Challenge 2015
Issued by Police Scotland
Rock Challenge and J Rock are performing arts events being held at Eden Court in Inverness on 27 and 28 April.
The diversionary initiative is supported by Safer Highland, a multi-agency partnership whose remit includes promoting community safety.
Up to 700 young people from primary and secondary schools across the Highlands are taking part. They will be battling it out to win awards and a place in the Scottish and possibly the UK finals later this year.
Through utilising the performing arts, Rock Challenge helps to divert young people from risk taking behaviour and encourage them to make positive choices for their future.
This is the fifth year that Safer Highland has staged Rock Challenge®. The event aims to capture the imagination of young people by providing them with an exciting and unique opportunity to experience the buzz of performing in a professional venue in front of their peers, families and friends.
The Rock Challenge® initiative reaches out across the world to engage with young people in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Dubai, Japan, Europe, and the UK. The focus is on bringing young people together to have fun and be the best they can be without the need for tobacco, alcohol and other substances.
Be Your Best Foundation UK Manager David Beal said: "We are delighted with the way the Rock Challenge has grown in Inverness. It is now one of the most exciting events in our calendar and one that everybody looks forward to being involved in. We are thrilled to once again be working with the Safer Highland partners to promote the event. I cannot wait to see the audience reaction when they see the quality of the show created by local young people.”
Each school forms a team to choreograph dance and drama performances which last between five and eight minutes and tell a story of a theme of their choice set to music. The team will be made up of between 20 to 100 performers as well as a backstage crew of up to 24.
One particular element of Rock Challenge that is growing every day is the very strong presence across social media.
The Facebook page and group has over 20,000 regular users who contact and interact with one another and offer support through the pages
The Twitter handle @ukrockchallenge is followed by nearly 6000 people who again pay close attention to the page and the updates that come in.
This year's participating schools are:
Primary – Monday 27, Cauldeen, Lochardil, Bridgend, Pennyland, Smithton and Kingussie Primaries.
Secondary – Tuesday 28, Inverness High, Kingussie High, Millburn Academy, Alness Academy, Thurso High, Wick High and Dingwall Academy.
Speaking on behalf of Police Scotland Highland and Island's Division, T/Chief Superintendent Gus Macpherson said: "On behalf of all the Safer Highland partners, I am delighted to welcome the ‘Be Your Best Foundation’ back to Inverness for the Highland Rock Challenge show at Eden Court Theatre.
“We are all committed to supporting young people through positive engagement and this initiative gives them a focus to show the many other ways they can enjoy themselves without engaging in substance misuse or anti-social behaviour.”
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning with Highland Council highlighted that; “Rock Challenge involves many young people who have never have taken part in any other school-based activity. Evaluation of the 2014 event showed increases in self –esteem, school attendance, relationships with teachers and friendship groups. Involvement in Rock Challenge often becomes a valued section of a pupil's record of achievement. It is a real community effort that results in the performances at Eden Court, with schools, pupils, parents and carers all working together.”
Deborah Stewart, Coordinator of Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership said; “Rock Challenge forms an important part of our prevention strategy. Feedback from previous events has shown clear reductions in smoking and substance use among pupils that have participated.”
Whether you have been involved before or seen previous coverage, the 2015 tour will be amongst the events biggest ever with MFR’s Gino Conti taking up the role of Compere. The event will be opened up throughout the day to allow the media access which will include interviews with participants, rehearsal footage as well as offering the opportunity to be a part of production meetings. If you are interested in attending the event details of the UK Manager David Beal are below.
More than 380 schools throughout the United Kingdom took part in last year's UK Rock Challenge competition involving upwards of 25,000 young people. It is the fastest growing event of its type in the UK, with teams required to stage a themed dance routine ultimately performing on stage in front of live audiences and a team of qualified judges.
Teams are marked and the winners move on to perform against others at regional finals with the National Final involving a gruelling competition against other teams from all over Britain.
Although the event originated in Australia The Rock Challenge® tour in the UK is now the biggest in the world. The organisation is currently staging 47 events across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, involving 25,000 young people aged 7-18 from 380 schools and colleges.
Tickets are available from the Eden Court Theatre Box Office for both events.