A group of JMU Journalism students were given the opportunity to spend the day at BBC Sport's Big Splash project, with the chance to apply for a work placement.
Students from across the North travelled to the University of Salford and were introduced to the Big Splash campaign, which aims to increase participation in swimming across the country in the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics.
Around 200 students attended workshops which gave an insight into how the BBC covers Olympic sports, particularly swimming, plus their plans to encourage people to get into the water.
The workshops provided practical advice on how to improve journalistic skills and how to make a start in the industry, while also offering an insight into how the BBC find and deliver news stories using multiple platforms.
Each student was asked to pick two workshops to participate in out of a choice of three. They included:
‘2012 Olympic Challenge’, ‘Commentary Masterclass’ and ‘The Future is Multi-Platform’.
Students listened to talks and asked questions of leading figures at the BBC including Production Executive Caj Sohal, BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Bob Ballard and Liverpool’s own Olympic swimming medalist Steve Parry.
JMU Journalism Deputy Sports Editor David Downie said: “The Olympic Challenge workshop was
interesting as it made me appreciate how big of an event it is and how it shouldn't be taken for granted.
"I never really thought too much on us hosting the Olympics but it really is something to get excited about and we are really lucky that this could lead to potential job opportunities.”
Arild Skjaeveland said: “I did enjoy the day at Salford University. I thought the whole day was interesting. There is clearly much preparation before launching a campaign like the 'Big Splash'.”
After Steve Parry finished speaking of his time in sport, the students were told of the six placements with BBC Sport up for grabs.
Applicants now have four weeks to submit their piece of multi-platform journalism designed to get people into the water, for the chance to be awarded one of the coveted placements.
By Stephen Dickinson, Sports Editor
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Olympic medalist swimmer Steve Parry spoke to students about his career and the Big Splash campaign