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Monday, 19 May 2014
Year 10 pupils Andrew Lee and Sam Hassall were recently offered the opportunity to commentate at the ASA National Water Polo Championship Semi-Finals and Finals. Here Andrew talks about this amazing experience:
"Over the Easter holidays, Sam and I were presented with the opportunity to commentate on a series of international water polo events held at Manchester Aquatics Centre. The chance to watch players of such immense talent is certainly a rare one, let alone comment on their performance to a large audience. Indeed, it was an incredibly stimulating experience, with a somewhat daunting learning curve, but a relaxed atmosphere nonetheless.
"We first received a crash course in commentating whilst watching Great Britain’s women play the 2013 World Champions Spain (against whom the British team were victorious!) on Tuesday the 22nd of April. Only four days elapsed before we ourselves took up the microphone, with our first true exposure to commentating taking place during a Youth Girls’ Bronze Medal Match, in which Crawley were the victors over Manchester. This may seem like a baptism of fire (or water rather), but we received valuable feedback, and actively began to improve our efforts.
"Our final match commentary was for the Junior Boys’ Gold Medal Match, in which Manchester unfortunately lost out to Solihull. Throughout the day, we witnessed our confidence grow from the first tentative attempts, until we were confidently broadcasting to a large audience.
"Presiding over eight games of thirty-two minutes each, with medal ceremonies interspersed after every two games, we were able to gain crucial experience, not only in commentating but also in remaining alert for long periods. We were also able to witness the clockwork-like inner workings of a serious sporting event from the media’s perspective. This fuelled our interest not only for commentating, but the media as a whole, and educated us about a line of work where the exterior image must remain cool, even if one is a little hot under the collar.
"We would like to thank all the staff at Manchester Aquatics Centre not only for the fantastic opportunity, but for their continuous support, encouragement, and tips through the day."
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