Highland students are all winners in Rock Challenge
This week, more than 2000 people have passed through the doors of Eden Court in Inverness, to watch 20 performances by 1000 students from Highland Schools, promoting the value of healthy lifestyles.
First place on the three nights went to Smithton Primary School, Alness Academy and Invergordon Academy, but all of the schools and students were winners – and they received enormous acclaim from the audiences.
The Rock Challenge is an anti-drug and crime-prevention initiative that holds events across the UK. The core message is to show young people how they can achieve a 'natural high' - through participation in the event at a professional venue with a professional production and technical crew, the students have a realisation that they can achieve a high on life rather than through substances.
Each school put together an 8-minute dance and drama production on a theme of their choice. They created and rehearsed their production over the preceding months, and then brought it to the main Eden Court stage. This year, as well as the secondary school winners going on to perform at the Scottish final in Dundee, the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has announced that two of the schools will be invited to take their performances to the stage this year’s festival.
Chair of Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee Councillor Drew Millar, said: “These past three nights have been incredible. The dedication of our young people over many months was evident on the stage, and this was appreciated by the enthusiastic audiences. While three teams got first place, it was clear that all of the students enjoyed taking part, and that it has been a life changing experience for many of them.”
Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s Director of Care and Learning said: “From previous years, we know that Rock Challenge leads to very positive outcomes, with regard to the self-esteem and confidence of young people, and a reduction in anti-social behaviour. But more than that, we know it is great fun – the young people love it, and their parents and communities love it. This year, the standard has been higher than ever, and the event is going from strength to strength in the Highlands.”