The Volunteer Diaries: National Final 2018!

The 2018 tour came to its pinnacle last weekend at the Magna Centre, as 9 teams from across the country made their way to Rotherham from the very bottom of England right up to the North East of Scotland! The National Final was on such a huge scale that it required a gigantic team of people to make it happen including the incredible crews from the Be Your Best Foundation and Rock Challenge®, as well as the tech team from T-MEC, and the guys from Visions and Nick Scott for capturing it all! On top of that there was an incredible 30 volunteers helping everything run smoothly! Something that was really great was managing to unite 13 of our Ambassadors together, because we’re usually at different ends of the country so it was great to see everyone come together! I think that everyone from crew to volunteers to the schools themselves are all very grateful for the parts that everyone played in creating the best Rock Challenge® day ever!

From the second the day began the energy was electric – the day began with dance parties and students rushing to snatch up the limited edition Nationals merchandise. Then came rehearsals, each school was fantastic and everyone was super supportive for every single incredible performance.
In between some rehearsals there was a fun challenge as the Scottish teams, Peterhead and Kinross, started some ceilidh dancing and got all the schools involved in a traditional Scottish country dance. It was so cool to see everyone dancing together, having a laugh and trying out something different.
The morning production meeting was insane – the energy in the room was so high! Best one in the tour and wow those schools were loud! In the afternoon production meeting, those teachers really rocked it out!
The show was unbelievable and what an incredible standard. Each performance shone in its individuality and creativity and every single member of every team should be SO proud of what they accomplished by getting to Nationals and putting on that show.
At the end of the day all of the teams gathered in a big room as a volunteer relayed the results – each school was so excited and supportive and you could really feel the love in the room. 4th place went to Peterhead Academy, 3rd place to The Rodillian Academy, 2nd to West Lakes Academy and our new 2018 National Champions are LeAF STUDIO SCHOOL! A huge congratulations to everyone from the Rock Challenge® Ambassadors – this tour has been such a pleasure for us!

This is what our Ambassadors had to say about their day at the National Final…

“The talent from every single school was absolutely unreal, the dedication and passion that was shown on the stage blew me away! The whole day from start to finish was fantastic and so exciting for everybody involved!” – Katy Bowman

“It was my first ever Nationals I’ve been to and it will be an event I will never forget! The energy from all the students from rehearsals up until they performed was amazing! You could feel that everyone who was involved appreciated and felt lucky to be there! The highlight of my time there was teaching the reps and cohost dance! An all round amazing day!” – Chelsea Powe

“What an amazing weekend to be a part off, the young people coming together from all across the UK to show us there talent was amazing to see. My highlight was definitely the Co-host and Reps dance as it really shows that each team no matter the results were they together as one! 2018 tour has definitely been the best yet! Can’t wait for 2019!” – Shaun Ryan

“From the moment the schools began to arrive the atmosphere was electric and as rehearsals started the excitement continued to build. I knew we were in for a good show. Watching everyone join in the ceilidh with the Scottish schools was amazing and showed that even though they were all there to compete with each other, the most important thing was to have fun and enjoy themselves” – Karen Mackay

“I was so excited to attend my first national final. The best thing about the day, was how all the teams came together to support and make the day special for all teams involved.” – Chris Williams

“This was my first time attending a National Final and wow, what a day it was! The journey from the south was definitely worth it as I had such an incredible weekend! Seeing all the schools come together was my highlight with each one supporting each other throughout the day. I’m so happy to have been given the opportunity to go to Nationals and get to know more people that are part of this amazing team! Bring on 2019.” – Chloe Jarvis

“What an amazing day and a great way to end my 10th year involved in Rock Challenge®. My second National Final and the standard was amazing. Everyone was so supportive all day and it was amazing to see schools from all over the country come together to put on an amazing show. All the volunteers, Ambassadors and crew have made it such an amazing day for all the young people involved in Rock Challenge®. Can’t wait for the 2019 tour!!” – Linzi Grimwood

“All I can say is it was the best experience ever, being able to meet new people from all over the UK bringing them all together to showcase the talent that each and everyone has! It was incredible! That’s what you call the true Spirit of Rock Challenge! #bringonRC2019” – Owen Broomfield

“This was my first National Final and it was 100 times better than I could have ever imagined! The support all the schools had for one another showed the real spirit of the event and it was brilliant to see such talented young people from all around the UK come together for a fantastic show!” – Emma Cathro

“I think there’s always something special about a National Final because each of the schools are just so grateful to have a bonus event to spend the day together, perform their piece again and to have a fun Rock Challenge® day. It makes for such a special atmosphere. I also LOVED seeing all the schools learning to ceilidh dance because it was a bit of fun silliness that you couldn’t have expected!” – Katie Daniel

Some of the incredible crew members also said..

“The 4th National Final is one I will remember for a very long time! Everything from the venue to the schools and participants, the engagement from the sponsors and the wonderful army of volunteers and Ambassadors, the Stage Team, the Production Team, the comperes and the brilliant audience, everything just clicked. One of the things I loved the most was how all the schools seemed so happy to be there it didn’t seem to matter to any of them who won, they were all winners already. Thank you to everyone who gave so much to make the event what it was: unforgettable!” – Be Your Best Foundation CEO, David Beal

“The National Final to me was a celebration of the wonderful and talented young people we have involved in the UK Rock Challenge! I felt extremely privileged and proud that I got to share the stage with amazing people from performers, teachers and Ambassadors to staff, directors and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who was involved in some way!” – Rock Challenge Stage Manager, Jonathan Wood

“The day was absolutely brilliant, with each and every school whole heartedly embracing the spirit of the event. We cannot thank our Amassadors, volunteers, crew and techs enough for what they have helped to achieve this year!” – Rock Challenge Assistant Event Manager, Charlotte Payne

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