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Amiqus partners with local Schoolhouse to boost esports education

Author: Laura.Martin

St John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy are one of the programme's longest standing Schoolhouses and have been involved in the Digital Schoolhouse esports tournament from the very start. Here’s how they’ve successfully forged relationships within their local community for the betterment of esports in their school. Mark Ward, DSH Lead Teacher explains:

“This will be St John Fisher’s 3rd year taking part in the Digital Schoolhouse Esports Tournament.  Our initial reason for getting involved was because I knew this would provide opportunities for pupils that they may otherwise not get.  To take their gaming skills to the next level, and compete on the same stage as professionals was too good an opportunity to miss. 

After winning the inaugural tournament, the popularity of our esports club grew and by the second year we were running the tournament with approximately 200 pupils - a sixth of the school population.  We used the buzz this created to our advantage, with the help of Lee Burns, our esports coach from Amiqus gaming recruitment, and along with resources from the Digital Schoolhouse programme, we were able to get across to all stakeholders that this wasn’t just playing games, but that a whole host of ‘soft’ skills were being developed along with opening doors to a huge array of potential future career options.

Our third year is poised to be even bigger.  We’ve teamed up once more with Amiqus, who have supported us fantastically by helping with transport costs and have provided extra hardware for us.  This means I can run more matches, which means I can get more pupils involved, which means more development of essential ‘soft skills’, more interest in the careers esports can offer and a better  grass roots experience… you get the picture!  It’s a win-win-win scenario that I can’t thank Liz Prince of Amiqus enough for.

This year we currently have 150 pupils and counting (still time to sign up!) on the game side and we have around 20 pupils filling other roles such as shoutcaster, events manager, observer and looking after the tournament PR – we even have someone developing a tournament website and social media platform.  These other opportunities offer pupils an exciting insight into other potential careers within esports.

On top of that, the extra equipment means that we can introduce industry standard software such Unity and Unreal Engine into the curriculum.  We can really start to make a difference now at every level of grass roots gaming, from development and design all the way through to esports.  We have two A Level students who have just applied to do an esports degree at Staffordshire University, I am confident that this number will only grow.”

Liz Prince, Business Manager at Amiqus adds:

“We’re committed to supporting the games industry across all levels of experience, so we’re honoured to be involved with the esports team at St John Fisher school. Lee Burns from the Amiqus team is delighted to be their coach and we’re excited that the practical support we’ve been able to provide means that more pupils will be able to take part in the tournament. And who knows, we may see some esports champs and pros emerging from Dewsbury in the very near future! Good luck to the team, we’re with you all the way."

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