Under Liberty Skies and Ozzie the Osprey
The school pupils and their parents attended weekly creative writing sessions with renowned children’s writer Mike Church at the home of the Ospreys, Liberty Stadium. Inspired by exploring the grounds and meeting some of the Ospreys players, the participants created their own stories in the form of a video and a book.
Mike Church worked with the pupils and parents of Sea View Primary school to imagine the story of the Ospreys mascot, Ozzie, and how he came to the role. The book, Ozzie the Osprey, has been beautifully illustrated and designed by Dominic Twigg.
In a separate series of workshops, Mike was joined by filmmaker Natasha James to work with Townhill Community School on their poem and film about Ospreys match days, Under Liberty Skies. The group composed the poem, acted in the piece and worked with green screen technology to create the film.
Watch the film, Under Liberty Skies here.
Following a summer of production, both projects were revealed in November 2018, where the schools and partners were joined at the Stadium by Ospreys player Bradley Davies; Cllr. Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education, Improvement, Learning & Skills; Cllr. Mary Sherwood, Cabinet Member for Better Communities; and Rachel Moxey, Head of Poverty & Prevention, Swansea Council.
The delighted crowd listened to Mike Church reading from the Ozzie the Osprey / Ozzie y Gwalch book, then watched the premier of the finished Under Liberty Skies film on the Stadium’s in-bowl mega screens prior to the kick-off of the Ospreys v Zebre Rugby Club.
Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales, said:
“It’s fantastic to work with Ospreys in the Community. This collaborative approach to literature and sport can contribute towards an increase in wellbeing and self-worth, and has a positive impact on the participants and on Swansea as a whole”
Paul Whapham, Head of Community – Ospreys Region, commented on the project:
“We’ve really noticed a difference in the pupils and parents from the start of the project to today with their confidence having really grown and they should be very proud of themselves for their hard work and effort to produce two really wonderful literacy projects. The programme really has had a big impact and hopefully is something we will be able to do again in the near future to extend the opportunity to even more people.”
The above quotes are from the school pupils and parents who took part in the project.