The FA Cup is one of the most historic and famous cups in world football. There is fanfare, romance, drama and action – so what better way to mark the final than with a football writing workshop to express these varying experiences, culminating in the writing of finely-crated match reports?
On FA Cup final day, a group of young FBB Schools participants took part in the workshop to improve and develop their writing skills, as well as get valuable insight into writing match reports from experienced football journalists.
Coming from The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy in Croydon and Sandringham primary school in Newham, “Team FBB” descended into the heart of a gloriously sunny Fitzrovia, where they were hosted very generously at the offices of sports entertainment app company MatchPint. The session was led by Joel Sharples, FBB’s Head of Campaigns, who is an experienced sports reporter for the Morning Star and Pete Starr, a sports journalist at MatchPint. They devised a workshop that engaged our participants on many levels – they discussed favourite teams, favourite players and took part in exercises which enhanced their research and writing skills.
Ahead of the final, the boys spent time researching the form of the teams, the context of the final against the success of the premier league session, as well as the expectations of the clubs involved. They were encouraged to be be expressive with language, with the boys commentating over some famous (and infamous) moments from football matches gone by.
With kick off nearing, our budding journalists were treated to pizza before sitting down to watch the game. As the teams walked out, there werehuge cheers for FBB Patron Santi Cazorla. During the game, our young hacks made notes of all the key moments from the game to include in their match reports. Joel and Pete were encouraging them to think carefully about the descriptive language they used in order to create vivid images for their readers. Did Alexis’ shot fly more like an arrow or a bullet? Was Hutton helpless or floundering? Did Sherwood look sad or heartbroken?
The Arsenal goals were greeted by cheers from a largely partisan group of young people, and the loudest cheer of all was saved for when Santi was awarded man of the match. At the final whistle, our writers began developing their notes into a full match report to be filed before a tight deadline – just as they would have to do in real life. Using skills they’d learnt in the workshop, they put their new talent to good use. FBB participant Abdoulaye said “I’ve enjoyed today because I’ve met new people I didn’t know before and learnt how to write a match report. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the team today. It will be really useful for me to use in my English lessons when I go back to school next week.”
It was a fantastic day, not least for Arsenal, and for our young FBB participants who learnt a great deal and had a really illuminating experience of the world of work and football writing. A huge thanks goes to MatchPint who looked after us and made us feel very welcome in their office.
Keep your eyes peeled for the match reports which will be live online very soon.
You can find out more about our FBB Schools programme by watching the video below on FBB TV – our very own YouTube Channel