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Inspire Media Academy Helps School Students

2 November 2014

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Football is being used to engage with students from local schools in an initiative designed to improve communication and literacy skills.

The Inspire Media Academy programme has been devised by Chesterfield's head of media & communications, Nick Johnson, and delivered in partnership with the Spireites Community Trust.

Sessions are delivered in school and the programme also includes trips to the Proact Stadium to conduct interviews with players/management and report on a match.

Rachel Shaw, literacy co-ordinator at St Mary’s Catholic High School, believes the students who recently took part in the programme learned a great deal from the experience. She said: “They developed their communication skills and the sense of a real audience gave the activities a real purpose. 

“They were able to focus on key aspects of structuring their writing for effect. A particular skill developed was learning how to answer open, rather than closed questions and the importance of eye contact when interviewing.

“The boys had an absolutely brilliant time when they visited the Proact Stadium to report on a match and it was certainly an experience that will stay with them. It was really well organised and the boys got a lot out of it.”

A pioneering Inspire Media Academy mentoring scheme is also being offered, providing opportunities for school students who are interested in sports media to receive one-to-one tuition one day a week. They will work in the media room at the Proact Stadium under the guidance of Nick Johnson, who is a highly experienced journalist and broadcaster.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Inspire Media Academy programme or the mentoring scheme should email

The students from St Mary’s are pictured with their Inspire Media Academy certificates, which were presented by Sam Hird at Chesterfield's game against Oldham Athletic.

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