Rock Challenge is in Portsmouth this week

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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HUNDREDS of schoolchildren will be showcasing their musical talent for the Portsmouth heat of the Rock Challenge performing arts competition.

Sixty-four primary and secondary school groups have prepared dance routines which promise to wow audiences at the Portsmouth Guildhall every night this week.

Secondary schools will compete for one of just four places at the June regional finals – when they will be in with a chance of competing at the national finals in July.

Youngsters from several primary schools will also take centre stage on Friday and Saturday nights for some great entertainment.

Stuart McGregor, assistant UK manager of the Be Your Best Foundation charity which runs the challenge, gave a special thanks to the Department for Transport who helped sponsor the event that aims to give youngsters a drug-free high through performing arts.

He said: ‘The support came from members of the department who came to see the Portsmouth show last year and loved it!

‘The quality and passion we usually see from Portsmouth is fantastic and this year will be no different.

‘We are about half way through the 2012 tour and it’s already proving to be a great year.’

Participating secondary schools include Cams Hill, Mayfield, Park Community, Neville Lovett, Portchester Community, Purbrook Park, Rachel Madocks, Horndean Technology College, Mary Rose and City Girls, as well as Portsmouth and South Downs colleges.

Thousands of youngsters take part in Rock Challenge heats across the country each year.