A shortlist of 18 have made it through to the final stage of BBC Radio 5 live’s Young Commentator of the Year competition.
Two of the finalists are from Birmingham, six are from London, and the others live all over the UK, with Lincolnshire, Carmarthenshire, Perthshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Berkshire and North Yorkshire all represented.
The shortlisted entries were picked by a panel of BBC Radio 5 live experts who awarded marks for enthusiasm, knowledge, picture-painting and delivery. The judges included senior football correspondent John Murray, sports commentator Jacqui Oatley, athletics broadcaster Darren Campbell and sports broadcaster Sonja McLaughlan.
The youngsters are all aged 11-15 and demonstrated their skills by watching a sports video clip and recording themselves in action. One of the judges, John Murray says: “The standard of entries was outstanding, and it was a tough job whittling it down to this final 18. We were hugely impressed by the knowledge, energy and enthusiasm that came through, and we are sure we have found some voices which we’ll be hearing a lot more of in years to come.”
The winner of 5 live’s Young Commentator of the Year will spend a day with 5 live at a major sporting event, where they’ll have a go at commentating. They’ll also get a behind-the-scenes tour of 5 live and BBC Sport at MediaCityUK in Salford, along with a Young Commentator of the Year trophy.
Back in 1986, BBC Radio 5 live Controller Jonathan Wall came runner-up in the BBC Radio 2’s Young Football Commentator competition. He says it was something he will never forget: “I used to commentate on my Subbuteo games as a kid, so the competition back then was a brilliant opportunity! It’s great to be running this competition of our own to find a new wave of talent, and who knows, they could go on to be one of the commentators of the future.”
The winner will be announced on 5 live Breakfast at around 8.20am this Friday, 3rd June.