Students from Warmley Park School & College (WPS&C), who’ve been taking part in Bristol Bears Community Foundation‘s (BBCF) Disability Journalism Programme, in partnership with Bristol Sport Foundation (BSF), became press officers for the day for the Bristol City Women v Liverpool game at Ashton Gate Stadium, on Sunday 3rd May.

Click the video below to watch highlights from the day.

BBCF’s long-running Disability Journalism Programme (DJP) has recently undergone an exciting new development in partnership with BSF and WPS&C, led by ongoing Spectrum Programme Manager at BBCF and new Community Engagement Lead at WPS&C, Kris Tavender.

Kris says:

“The DJP has always been about innovation, from its early beginnings of taking literacy out of the classroom and bringing it into a professional sports stadium, to its peak at the Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham. Since its inception in 2016 the programme has provided some of the most exciting and dynamic sports media opportunities to some of the most disadvantaged young people in Bristol and the wider region. These recent developments in the programme are the first truly collaborative steps the DJP has taken, not only working across sports brands but also across the stadium’s partner charities.”

The Disability Journalism Programme is a combination of classroom lessons and practical sessions, where students learn from employees across the Bristol Sport stable of professional teams and partner charities all working within the media departments. During the programme the students have been introduced to using a camera, interview techniques, writing match reports and how to film and edit video content.

This year’s students taking part, aged between 16-19 years old, have been using their involvement in the programme to go towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award. Kris continued:

“There has been a real sense of skill development on this new pilot for the DJP, where the personal choice and focus provided by the Duke of Edinburgh Award, along with the structure and opportunity of the programme have blended perfectly, offering unique real-life experience to utilise and apply newly learned skills.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to Bristol City Football Club, Bristol Sport Foundation and Ashton Gate Stadium for all for the support in making the match-day happen. This was the first event of this kind at a Bristol City football match – and we can’t wait for more opportunities like this in the future.”

Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Marketing and Media Manager at BSF says:

“Thank you to all the hard work of everyone who made the match-day such a success. It was amazing to be a part of and I could feel just how excited and eager all the students were to be involved. Having spent some time with these students over a few weeks, I’ve seen first-hand how much they’ve loved, thrived and engaged with the programme.

“The potential to continue to grow this programme across the wider Bristol Sport group is really inspiring. Bears Community Foundation have been leading the way with their passion for inclusive development as the driving force, and BSF are delighted to have come together in partnership with both BBCF and Warmley Park School & College to make these new developments to the Disability Journalism Programme happen.”