Bill McLaren primary school commentary competition winners announced

Bill McLaren primary school commentary competition winners announced

Four primary school pupils from the Scottish Borders have won the Bill McLaren commentary competition as part of the Voice of Rugby’s centenary celebrations.

The winners are: P4 – Cullen Smyth, Wilton, Hawick; P5 – Seren Isobel Macdougall, Trinity, Hawick; P6 – Isaac Hastie, Edenside, Kelso and P7 – Dan Johnston, St Peter’s, Galashiels.

The competition was launched in a live lesson streamed to over 1,000 pupils in 45 schools located throughout the Scottish Borders on the centenary of Bill’s birth in October. The pupils were invited to download, onto their iPads, a video clip containing only crowd noise, of Tony Stanger scoring the winning try in the 1990 Grand Slam victory over England.

The pupils were asked to record their own commentary from the moment Gary Armstrong put the ball into the scrum through to the try and the subsequent celebrations. The aspiring commentators then had to upload the file for Andrew Cotter, the well-known BBC sports commentator, to select a winner from each age group.

Linda Lawson, Bill’s daughter and trustee of the Bill McLaren Foundation, said: “The standard was incredibly high and I am sure Dad would be pleased to know that the tradition of rugby commentating is alive and well right here in the Borders”.

One of the winners came up with an observation that was equally as good as Bill’s famous “dancing in the streets” when the young apprentice reported that Scotland fans were “boogying” in celebration after Stanger scored his try.

The commentary competition was organised by the Bill McLaren Foundation, SBC’s Inspire Learning team and Live Borders. The winners will be the guests of Scottish Rugby in a tour of the Murrayfield Stadium later this term.

Members of the public will be able to record their own commentary when the Bill McLaren Centenary Exhibition re-opens in the Hawick Museum on 1 March. The commentary booth in the museum has proved to be one of the more popular exhibits enjoyed by all and especially by Sean Fitzpatrick, the All Black rugby legend when he made a special trip to the museum. As an additional bonus when the exhibition re-opens it will double in size to incorporate Hawick RFC’s 150th anniversary exhibition.

Ian Landles, Hawick Rugby Club president, said: “The outstanding Bill McLaren Centenary Exhibition is a very hard act to follow but we have sprung a few surprises that should intrigue and delight visitors”.

And, as part of the exhibitions’ support for education schools can arrange class visits by contacting Live Borders. The Bill McLaren Foundation has a travel bursary in place to help schools outwith Hawick.

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