Pupils take to stage in Rock Challenge

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Students from schools across the region raised the roof once more at the third North Yorkshire Police Rock Challenge event at the Barbican in York.

The dance, drama and design spectacular is a nationwide event that combines healthy lifestyles with creative thinking while encouraging young people to stay away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Teams from Boroughbridge High, Graham School from Scarborough, St Francis Xavier from Richmond, Welburn Hall in Kirkbymoorside and York High performed eight-minute pieces set around a theme of their choice for the opportunity to represent North Yorkshire at the Rock Challenge Northern Open Finals in July at the Grimsby Auditorium.

PC Suzanne Asquith, Youth Engagement Officer for the force, who organised the York event, said: “The performances were excellent this year and it was evident that the staff and students had put in a great deal of hard work.

“Rock Challenge isn’t just about the performances; it’s about reinforcing the message that young people don’t need drugs and alcohol to feel good about themselves.

“This event helps to build their confidence, increase their resilience and to be the best they can.

“They should all be very proud of what they have achieved.”

The schools arrived at the Barbican early in the morning of Friday March 4 and were given time to rehearse their performances and to attend a series of workshops, from gun and knife crime to relaxation, designed to complement the ethos of the event.

After evening performances by the schools, ranging from topics on global warming and the re-telling of Peter Pan, Boroughbridge walked away with second place behind Graham School.

The foyer of the Barbican was transformed into an “information marketplace” where York MIND, Healthwatch and Change 4 Life were on hand to chat with the young people and to provide them with literature and advice on various topics.

This year’s event saw a number of sponsors attend including North Eastern Hairdresser of the year Jill Watkins-Wright, Hiscox, Shepherd Group, Virgin Trains East Coast, Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Safety Teams.