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Hazelwood Integrated College wins Northern Ireland Rock Challenge 2013
Hazelwood Integrated College made history in the Waterfront Hall on 23rd April 2013 by becoming champions in the Northern Ireland Be Your Best Global Rock Challenge competition for the second consecutive year. Hazelwood swept the board with awards for Best Stage Crew, Best Make Up, Best Set Design, Performers Choice Award, Spirit of Rock Challenge Award, Healthy Lifestyle Award, Community Support Award as well as the Overall Winner.
In winning NI Rock Challenge, the school has not only brought success to North Belfast but will also go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK finals in June.
Rock Challenge is a worldwide event in countries such as Australia, Japan, America and Europe and is the UK’s most popular youth culture event operating in 45 venues nationwide this year. It is a performing arts competition which harnesses the very best in youth creativity, talent and imagination by encouraging 11-18 yr olds to engage in a project which promotes healthy lifestyles away from the temptations of smoking, alcohol and drugs.
The theme for Hazelwood’s Rock Challenge this year is to ‘Find yourself through the path of others’. The performance focuses on a young girl having a voice to stand up for herself and the others around her, whilst overcoming the greatest disease of all - loneliness. The photograph on the left features Lauren Bell in the role of the ‘Evil Queen’ and Any Sinclair as ‘Amélie’.
Kathryn Sheppard, Director of Rock Challenge at Hazelwood said:
"I am incredibly proud of such a fantastic team who have shown such commitment and dedication over the past 7 months, practising hard after school, over the holidays and on a number of Saturdays. In comparison to last year’s team size we have greatly increased student numbers which means that the message of Rock Challenge is spreading. The team has developed a number of qualities from the project such as a huge level of commitment, dedication, increased confidence and self esteem. The project has also supported drug education in our school and enhanced skill levels in the performing arts area through make up, staging and dance. It has been a whole school/community event which we are incredibly thankful for, as without the support of everyone, this project would not be possible. We were also cheered on at the Waterfront hall by 50 students from a local youth club which a number of our students attend."
In paying tribute to the staff, parents, politicians, businesses and local community members who have supported the students towards success, Mrs Kathleen Gormley, Principal of the college, enthusiastically added that:
“The involvement of Hazelwood is key to building self esteem, aspiration and in encouraging young people to go out there and be the best they can be. Going to the UK Finals in June to represent Northern Ireland will ensure that this academic year at Hazelwood will end on a high.”
Tim MacFarlane, Event Manager at ‘Be Your Best Foundation Event’ (Rock Challenge’s Governing Body) commented:
'Belfast was such an outstanding event this year; the 5 amazing schools created a great atmosphere throughout the day and really embodied the positive, supportive spirit of the event. As we've almost come to expect from the Belfast event, the evening show was an outstanding spectacle of colour, energy and creativity; the audience and judges were blown away. The winning performance by Hazelwood was spellbinding; innovative and engaging with fantastic set and costumes; the energy of the young people bounced off of the stage and had the audience captivated - a feat made all the more impressive considering this is only their second year entering. Hazelwood is a lovely and supportive team and we can't wait to see them at the finals in Grimsby representing Northern Ireland!’