Pupils delighted at awards

(L-r) Megan McRobbie, Sophie Warner, Vicky Smith, Olivia Tranter, Dan Ward, Becky Owen, Dana Smith, Beth Goulder and Lily Pinhorne
(L-r) Megan McRobbie, Sophie Warner, Vicky Smith, Olivia Tranter, Dan Ward, Becky Owen, Dana Smith, Beth Goulder and Lily Pinhorne
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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Gosport students are holding their heads up high after scooping one of the most prestigious awards in this year’s Rock Challenge performing arts competition.

The 40-strong team from Brune Park Community College wowed judges at the Southampton heats with their musical take on the Barnardo’s story – and walked away with the Sir John Hoddinott Award for Excellence, which goes to one Hampshire school each year.

Even though the 12 to 16-year-olds didn’t get through to the regional finals, they had lots of reasons to celebrate after winning seven out of 14 awards including staging, student leadership and Spirit of Rock Challenge – for their good sportsmanship.

Kayleigh Hiseman, drama teacher, who had overseen weekly rehearsals since September, says: ‘I’m so proud of the students, they performed brilliantly and the number of awards they won is astounding.

‘The students organised everything, from the costumes to the fundraising and even transport on the day. It’s a magnificent achievement.’

Rock Challenge is an international competition that aims to give youngsters a drug-free high through performing arts. This year’s Brune Park competitors say they have gained a lot from the experience.

Olivia Tranter, 14, says she now has the confidence to help her through dance GCSE.

She adds: ‘It has impacted on all of our lives so much.

‘Winning seven awards after our performance was a breathtaking moment. It pulled our cast closer and made us appreciate all the hard work we all put into it.’

Becky Owen, 15, who has entered Rock Challenge three years in a row, says: ‘This year has been one of the best because I feel I got to make a real contribution –I helped with the choreography.

‘I loved doing this because it boosted my confidence as I was teaching students movements I had created. ‘

Dan Ward, 15, adds: ‘ It is an amazing experience and having performed twice and been involved for three years I can say that it only gets better each time.

‘These experiences will stay with me forever and I could not have been happier. ‘

Megan McRobbie, 14, says the experience has taught her to be ‘confident and proud’.

She adds: ‘Rock Challenge is so much fun!’