Turkish Airlines: Birmingham Schools Sports

Friday 10th July

Even though i grew progessively more excited for Sports Birmingham throughout the week, Todays start for it was very early. However i woke up excited and motivated at 6:15 for the day ahead.
Thankfully none of my trains were delayed and i arrived at BOA bright and early at 8am to collect the camera equipment and travel to King Edwards High School for girls. The scene that met us when we swung into the school car park was one that was incredibly bright, bubbly and colourful, the staff were all exceptionally friendly and enthusiastic about the sporting day ahead, today was the day the Sports Birmingham for primary schools took place.
After setting up the camera equipment and having a briefing about our roles, we split up into groups of three. This was to ensure there was a media individual, a photographer and a cameraman/ videographer in each group. Myself, Celestine and Nathan were put into a group and immediately set out to film, snap and tweet the opening ceremony. We stood at the front of the ceremony looking out into the crowd, to gain the best angle for photos and were amazed when an array of colour met our gaze. Over 1,000 children between 5-12 had turned up in greens, yellows, oranges, blues, reds or pinks to participate in the event. The children were all very excitable and much more willing to talk to camera than the high school age who were all much too cool for that kind of thing…

Another very exciting part to come out of this day, before we had even hit 10:30, was the interviewing and meeting of olympic and Paralympic champions (and very much celebrities in my sporting eyes) Laura Williams, Mel Clarke and Beth. All three women had inspiring advice to pass on to the youngsters and were also all very successful from this area. Mel Clarke performed in the archery in the 2008 Beljing olympics and won a bronze medal, then went on to win silver in the 2012 London olympics.. (I fangirled..). The warm up for the ceremony was also hilarious but more excellent to see young children happily participating in exercise, which is something i feel this country lacks.

After the games were officially declared i had the brilliant but terrifying job of interviewing the three champions. What if i got a fact wrong and looked stupid? What if my questions weren’t sophisticated enough? What if they weren’t very chatty and talking to them would prove difficult? Its scary stuff. However, when the time came the women were friendly, funny and happy to talk to me, in fact they gave some very lovely and interesting points on the importance of events like todays games in keeping kids active.

After three or four interviews in the VIP area, my team and i headed out to the netball courts to take some shots, videos and blog. This was very exciting for myself personally as i am an ex netball player and absolutely adored it. I loved watching the pupils shoot, talk tactics and loved reminding myself of all the rules (footwork!!). At this point in the day Celestine also let me have a go on the camera and i took some shots of the game and realised how much i love the art of photography..i then got too much into it and Celestine ended up having to take her camera back so i had to revert back to my rubbish tablet quality :(.

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Sat outside the tennis courts was definitely the place to be. Some children were really very talented at Tennis which amazed me because i dont even think i could throw a ball when i was 9 let alone hit it with a racket, rally it between someone else and score some winning shots…I also found that watching the sport was actually very theraputic.

Another job of mine today is to provide a write up/blog post for the day which i am currently thoroughly enjoying doing, sitting in the sun, writing about the day.

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After lunch I got to have a run out with the huge JVC camera which was so much fun, especially because when i had the huge camera on my shoulder and was walking around, so many children were running up to the camera shouting ‘are we going to be on TV?!’. This was brilliant because it meant that we got so much coverage of excited children and also got to spread the word about the coverage of the day being available online.

The last point of call with the day was the award ceremonies. Even though it’s just about taking part it was lovely to see the excited faces of all the children/schools who had worked hard and won at their sports. Turkish Airlines were handing out free airplane models to winners and medals to runners up, this was fantastic and really motivated the school children to keep up their sport. Mel Clarke was also signing autographs which everyone was so excited about! It had spread awareness about the Paralympics and we had all met a celebrity. This was lovely to catch on film. After this we packed away our things and headed back to the car after a long, but brilliant, day of sport.
Thank you Birmingham Schools for having us!

By Lauren Curno

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Sexual Health and Contraception

Amy and I created a sexual health factual programme with a focus on how much teenagers knew about contraception and why they didn’t know more.

Comment your thoughts and views below, thank you:)

The problem with this time of year is that the love and magic only lasts the month.

As i was standing on Weston Road at 6:30pm waiting for the 825 bus (which was naturally late), on New Years Eve, an old man of about 60 walked past and cheerfully said ‘Happy New Year!’ Obviously this took me completely a back as we seem to live in a culture where a strange man walking past you in the darkness saying something to you alerts all the red warning signs. However, i smiled politely and said ‘Happy New Year have a lovely evening’, to which he responded with a smile and a wave. I then pondered on this small event as i sat on the bus slowly drifting through the brightly lit streets. A thought then occurred to me as i was viewing the customers board the bus with excitement in their eyes, happily talking to the person next to them.

It’s that time of year.. Christmas, New Year, the never ending atmosphere of love and joy and gifts. This kind of contagious happy vibe gets people talking. And then another thought occurred to me, it’s just, we talk to strangers more when we have something to say. Most people don’t seem to be able to construct a polite, funny conversation with complete strangers anymore unless there is a relatable running theme. I, myself, although i would consider myself as very friendly, am completely as guilty for this as much as the next person. At Christmas it’s so easy to make good conversation: ‘Hi how was your Christmas? What did you get?’ ‘Happy New Years! What plans have you got?’.

I mean, you travel to Europe and strangers ACTUALLY talk to you..about whatever. I remember walking down a street in Italy, Venice when i was 8 and a lady sat outside a Café called me over just to tell me that i had very good skin and that she liked my skirt. Now just imagine if people treated each other like that day to day? Everyone would feel tonnes better about themselves! Have you ever looked at a person and thought ‘Damn, she got gorgeous hair’, or ‘His tie is super cool.’ Don’t you realise you could make someone’s day by telling them? TELL HER SHE HAS GOOD SKIN SHE WANTS TO HEAR IT I PROMISE! But the problem that seems to occur is that people think you’re ‘weird’ or a bit ‘stalkerish’ or ‘not quite right’. It’s a shame really, because if we all started talking to each other a bit more i think we’d find that we would learn looooads and inspire ourselves so much more.

People are brilliant. Every single person you walk by on the street has a piece of knowledge that you don’t know, every person has something to give and something wise to pass on. Be kind to the world and the world will be kind to you.

So my New Years resolution is to try and talk more to general people and hopefully make their day a little brighter. People are a real gift and i learn so much from each and every one. Don’t just be friendly and bright and talkative only when its christmas or New Year, but be that person all year round, because it makes this place so much more beautiful to live in and you never know what people are going through and whether they need some kindness. So thank you Sir, whoever you are, for inspiring me. (See my point? It’s true!).

Our Trip to the BBC

On Thursday the 12th November 2014, 5 girls from BOA in year 12 went to the BBC in Birmingham and it was a truly incredible experience.
When Mr Dodzo asked us if we wanted to go along a be part of a project we were all so excited. I mean, the BBC…THE BBC…i’ve never felt so privileged. I honestly couldn’t wait for this opportunity and as if that wasn’t enough, the next thing we heard was that Fuse ODG was going to be there as well and i tell you, it was hard to refrain from being starstruck. However, we maintained our professionalism and put our sensible heads on.
When we got to the BBC inside the mail box it felt like entering Hogwarts or something..it was insane, magical. I felt so humble and overwhelmed just walking around and seeing everyone working in their glossy, classy, sophisticated work place. After a small meeting and being introduced to some lovely managers and producers we went to view the studios next to where Charlie Sloth was hosting his show.  The BBC studios are (as expected) beautiful. The design and the equipment was sensational and it completely showed me how much i want to achieve my dreams of becoming a radio presenter and be successful, to work at the BBC would be phenomenal.
After being in awe of the whole building we learned that we were going to be going on air with Charlie Sloth and Fuse ODG!!!!!

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We prepared some questions to ask Fuse ODG and before long we were on air chatting away and cracking jokes. It was really interesting to see what people asked and learn more about Fuse. For example; i had no idea that he grew up in Ghana and therefore that is where he got his inspiration for his afro-beats came from. Fuse and Charlie really bounced off each other and therefore it became a very funny show. The presenter and the whole team were incredibly welcoming and friendly which was such a relief as i was so nervous.
Even though we only spoke on air for a couple of minutes it was a truly fantastic opportunity and a really good achievement for me to be able to say i’ve been on Radio 1xtra! Thank you BOA for this amazing opportunity it has really inspired me and i hope to be chosen to be involved in future experiences.