Rock Challenge returns to Highland

Issued by NHS Highland

Over 1,000 school pupils from across the north of Scotland will take to the stage at Eden Court this week in the Safe Highland Rock Challenge.

The event, organised by the Be Your Best Foundation, aims to encourage young people to utilise the performing arts and make positive life choices to be their best without the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.

High schools will be battling it out to impress the judges in the Rock Challenge, and primary schools will take part in the J Rock Challenge. All of the 20 schools taking part will try and win a place at the Scottish and UK finals later this year.

The initiative is supported by Safer Highland and the Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership (HADP), both of which are multi-agency partnerships that promote community safety.

Police Scotland Highland and Island’s chief superintendent Julian Innes, chair of HADP, 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 drug or alcohol use or anti-social behaviour.”

Deborah Stewart, HADP co-ordinator, said: “The J Rock and Rock Challenge forms an important part of our prevention strategy. The feedback from previous events has shown that participating helps to avoid, delay and reduce drug and alcohol use among young people.”

Highland Council director of care and learning, Bill Alexander, said: “Rock Challenge involves many young people, including some who have not taken part in other school-based activities.

“Evaluation of the 2015 Rock Challenge showed increases in self-esteem, school attendance, and relationships with teachers and peer groups. Involvement in this production is great fun and a significant achievement that becomes a valued aspect of a pupil’s record.

“It is a real community effort that results in the performances at Eden Court, with schools, pupils, parents and carers all working together.”

Scott Hay, Highland senior officer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue service commented: “We are fully supportive of this excellent initiative, which gives young people to the confidence to express themselves.

“The confidence it gives them can have a positive impact on their personal development, allowing them to make the best possible life choices.”

This year’s event proves to be one of the best yet, with Moray Firth Radio’s Ginno at Breakfast acting as compere for each of the shows, which will take place in front of sell-out audiences on the 19th, 20th and 21st of April.

15 Apr 2016
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