Big Sam meets kids

Sam Allardyce was a star guest as West Ham United Inspire Learning Centre concluded its successful Sports Reporting programme funded by Newham Summer School this August.

In all 19 pupils aged eight to eleven from across the Borough came together at the Boleyn Ground to take part in creating their very own media companies. Pupils were tasked to launch their fantasy 'sports media' brand by putting together a marketing campaign.

All of the children created lovely logos, phenomenal posters, remarkable radio ads and terrific television shows relating to the theme of sports using state of the art Apple Mac multimedia facilities at the centre, which is named in honour of former manager John Lyall.

The pupils were then delighted to have a visit from the West Ham United manager on the final day where they got to put their reporting skills to the test by asking Big Sam a series of searching questions.

The first was to ask him how long he had been a manager, before the second proved slightly trickier with the youngster concerned keen to find out how players were kept in check.

'Do you ever fine players?' was the question, to which the manager responded. "Yes, if they don't do things as they should. For example if they are late for a team meeting or training. If anyone does anything wrong on the field, they also get an automatic fine. It is important to keep discipline."

A follow-up asking the manager to name which players get in the most trouble was quickly dodged in skilful style before the group gathered for a series of photos.

To finish off the week in fitting fashion, the pupils showcased their work at the Inspire Centre by pitching their brand to a judging panel of 'dragons'.

All of the groups did a fantastic job presenting their work leaving the audience of parents, friends and dragons in awe. 'Racing Reporters' were crowned champions for their polished pitch and received some brilliant West Ham United goodies from the club.

All participants received certificates, small rewards and their work on CD.

The staff involved were teacher Pia Tanneraho, senior learning mentor Tom Gregory, lead learning mentor Baber Hussain, learning mentor Feroza Bakht and peer mentor Sahar Khalid from Lister School performing arts college in Plaistow.

To see more, check out the following websites -

You Tube -

Facebook -

Website -

*Bookings for the After School Club that runs on Mondays during term time are open now. Call 020 8586 8063 for further information.