London 2012: Birmingham school reporters talk to US team

Holyhead School pupils interview US Olympic team at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham as the athletes train ahead of London 2012 for BBC School Report.

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Pupils from Holyhead School interviewed US Athletes as they were training in Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham.

The BBC School Report pupils joined other schools in the city who were there to take part in Olympic inspired games.

Students from Holyhead School were joined by School Reporter Holly from Bartley Green School and Yvantanke from St. John Wall Catholic School to interview US team members in front of the crowd.

Jasmine from Holyhead School led the report
Michael Tinsley with BBC School Reporters from Holyhead School After interviewing Michael Tinsley, reporters were interviewed themselves

We arrived at Alexandra Stadium, got briefed on the day and started straight away. We then split off into different groups to take pictures and film events in the ground.

Some reporters went to interview dancers who were entertaining pupils, one of the dancers said: "It was exciting because we don't see major things in Birmingham."

After this Shabnum interviewed Michael Tinsley who said: "The US is a really tough team to make and I tried out a few times and didn't get the opportunity to represent so now it's my turn and I'm really honoured."

At the scene

Pupils braved the rain to interview the athletes with dedication and passion for their story.

Where ever the pupils went they seemed to attract more interviews, I was finding it difficult to keep up with them.

During the interview with School Reporters Brad Walker said: "my personal goal is now focused from 6.04m (19ft) which is my personal best to 6.14m (20ft) which is a world record and I'm training as hard and as smart as I can to reach that."

American shot putter Reece Hoffa who looked like he enjoyed entertaining the crowd, told reporters his personal best was 22.43m (73ft) and that his aim was "to win".

Mr Tinsley is a 400m hurdles Olympian from the US team and a lot of people gathered around us when we were interviewing. After this we were interviewed by television crews about how our interview went.

We then found a group of our reporters and spoke to them about how their day was and they said it was a "great opportunity" and they had "lots of energy" to run in the events at the ground.

After that we went into the stadium with the rest of the press and filmed Shabnum presenting to the camera before being interviewed ourselves by radio teams.

Arshpreet was asked to read a good luck message to the team in front of the crowd so we went to the pitch side and interviewed the other athlete's there.

One of the athletes we interviewed was two time Olympic pole vaulter Brad Walker and we asked him who he looked up to at our age.

Brad Walker (l) and Reece Hoffa (r) Brad Walker and Reece Hoffa spoke in front of a large crowd at Alexandra Stadium in Birmingham

"I had a lot of great coaches and a lot of people to look up to and a really supportive family...I never thought I'd be a professional track and field athlete and I'm loving it," he said.

We then interviewed Reece Hoffa, an Olympic shot put athlete, we asked him what makes the shot put so difficult, "You have to train a whole lot to be a shot put athlete. I train at least five or six times a week for five or six hours a day," he said.

I caught up with Arshpreet after the interviews to see how she felt, she said: "It was a great day, a bit nerve-racking but really good. It's a great experience, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

I have to agree, this was another great opportunity for us as young reporters and I am very pleased with the day, despite the British weather raining on us all.

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