|Rock Challenge UK is a series of performing arts events which promotes healthy life choices.|
Thousands of young people take part every year: in their local events, and also - if they go through - in the Scottish, Northern or Southern Grand Finals !
A school / college team (made up of from 20 to 100 performers, 20 stage crew and 14 support crew - smaller numbers for Primary schools) decides on a theme, reflecting the personalities, concerns, hopes, dreams and interests of those who create it. They then create the choreography for their five to eight-minute dance-drama performance, select and record the medley of music for their soundtrack, and design and make their sets and costumes.
On the designated show day, the competing schools and colleges in that region assemble for a wonderfully friendly day of interaction, rehearsals and fun. In the evening they perform to a usually sellout audience of their peers, families and community members, and their performances are judged by a panel of specialists from the performing-arts industry.
The winning team is invited to take part in a UK Southern, Northern or Scottish Grand Final, and in 2012, teams who did well in those Finals were additionally invited to take part in the 2012 all-UK National Grand Final (the second time there's been a UK National Final).
(An independent report into the success and usefulness or otherwise of the 2009 National Final in particular and UK Rock Challenge in general was produced for Yorkshire Forward and the Be Your Best Foundation: read it here.)
The challenge is for the students and their teachers to create and be involved in their own production from conceptualisation through to the live performance. The challenge is also to be the best that they can without the use of nicotine, alcohol or other drugs, and there are severe penalties for anyone who fails that challenge on any event day and for their team too.
Feedback / research indicate that the concept works, with young people clamouring to return year after year to take part, with improved relationships with teachers at school, with a reduction - or even cessation - of substance abuse by team members and with a lower incidence of substance abuse generally within participating schools. Attendance rates are also boosted, as are staying-on rates into the sixth-form, and secondary schools are finding that primary school students are now adding in participation in UK Rock Challenge as a factor in their choice of where to go.
The Rock Challenge® communicates health and social education messages in a positive and supportive environment.