Students' handball broadcast is a YouTube hit
The group of final year undergraduate students streamed the finals live via YouTube as part of assessed work for their Live Broadcast Portfolio module. More than 1,300 people have already viewed the content from 35 different countries around the world, including Brazil, Japan and New Zealand.
Eleven students worked together at the Copper Box in London's Queen Elizabeth Park, where the London 2012 Olympic Handball and Basketball finals took place, producing a series of live multi-camera broadcasts with live graphic input and half-time/full-time analysis featuring Team GB Olympic Handball athletes. They covered the U-18 games and women's and men's national Cup finals.
Speaking about the experience, Broadcast Media Technology student Pieter Snyman said: “I was a camera operator at the event. Standing on the sideline, I felt as absorbed as the players in each match. I value my course for offering career opportunities as part of our assessments on the degree. The course at Leeds Beckett offers immersive practical learning environments where students are able to experiment and practice their theoretical knowledge.
“This opportunity was particularly useful to me because I am hoping to make a career as a broadcast camera operator. I will be able to use this experience as a portfolio piece in order to approach and contact future employees.”
The women's champions were London GD, who overcame a spirited Coventry Sharks team in extra-time. In the men's event, Warrington Wolves were just too strong for the men's London GD team, winning 30-29. The Leeds Beckett students worked with professional commentator Paul Bray, who commentates on Handball around the world and was working in the same venue as a commentator during the Olympic Handball in 2012. Paul congratulated the students on their hard work and professional attitude after the games.
Hugo Smith, Broadcast Media Technologies Course Leader, commented: "We were excited to be asked to work at this prestigious venue by a national sports association and the students jumped at the chance to be involved. Students took on complicated and exacting roles and some excellent work was completed, along with some really positive opportunities for teaching and learning in an intense and high-pressure live TV environment.
“We streamed the four cup final games to YouTube and received some generous comments about the professional quality of our broadcast from Handball fans around the UK and Europe during the broadcast. It is great to have this kind of opportunity for students to bridge between University-based learning and the professional world and the continued support of our Head of School and Faculty is making for great student experience on the course as well as developing strong employability skills."
Tim Blackwell, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett, added: "The students were tested with a long day that required total commitment and long periods of concentration and they kept the quality of their work high throughout. We are very happy with what they managed to achieve."
Chris Pearce of Handball England told the tutors: "The event looked great. The students were very professional and all the people I have spoken to were really impressed by the quality of the broadcast."
As a result of the successful event, the course team has been approached about students working at the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge during the Rugby World Cup in October 2015 at the same venue.
Photos: Tim Blackwell