Boy’s and Girl’s action from a previous John Wark Memorial Basketball Tournaments. Photo courtesy of the Vulcan Advocate.
vTV collaborates with Palliser school for live-stream opportunity
County Central High School (CCHS) is looking for greater exposure for its athletics program. The online television network, vTV, wishes to increase community content and engagement. The result is live stream coverage of the John Wark Memorial Basketball Tournament finals this weekend.
The online basketball action is available at http://www.vulcantv.ca/en/ on a pay-for-view basis with donations going to CCHS athletics through the school’s sports council.
Angie Seaman, the school’s athletic director, says she jumped at the opportunity to raise much-needed funding (the live-stream is free, however, vTV and CCHS are accepting dontations) and potentially allow more people to see the Hawks play and bolster pride in the program. “What I’m really hoping for is that athlete recognition and for people to come see the games; to get that culture back and get bums in the seats,” Angie says.
The offering is the second-ever by vTV, which featured a country music performer as part of its launch in the fall of 2015. Gail Wark, managing director for community relations at vTV, says the online network is looking for ways to further engage the community and schools are a large part of that. “The school is very much a community hub. And if [it isn’t], it needs to be,” Gail says. “That’s your seed crop for the viability of any community and it needs to be supported.”
Angie, a CCHS graduate and former Hawk herself, says sports provides an avenue for community engagement in the school system and is often a reflection of a school’s culture. “I think that’s what a strong sports program does for a school, it creates positivity,” says Angie, adding that it also creates goals for students: “Even if the goal is ‘I want to get on that basketball team or I want to be there for my team so I’ve got to go to school, or I want that banner next year.’”
The fact that vTV’s first foray into sports coverage is a tournament named after Wark’s late husband is just a coincidence. John Wark, like Gail, played sports at County Central and so did their children. He was a long-time and ardent supporter of the school’s sports program. “The fact that it is named after John is almost secondary to me, in some respect. This is about the kids,” says Gail. “Our kids are athletic and I know the importance of the connection of sports to education and the connection of how that builds community within a community.”
Gail says she is hoping this first venture with County Central won’t be the last, with rugby tournaments and other school sporting events other possibilities for vTV content. The online network has video equipment it could lend to the school so students could showcase their school, whether through sports or video coverage of events like the school’s upcoming Habitat Humanity trip to Trinidad.
Perhaps that could eventually lead to a Career and Technology Studies program and a possible career path. It might be a natural, Gail adds, given the way teens take to posting video on YouTube and the likes. “The youth of today have produced more film than has been produced in the history of the world. It’s their platform – a platform that’s available on any remote, digital device.”
Coverage of the John Wark Memorial Basketball Tournament will allow grandparents and others who can’t make it to the gym to take in the action. The television network was also going to contact the out of town teams to share that same opportunity with their parents.
While vTV is starting out in Vulcan, Gail says they would like to expand to offer coverage of communities across southern Alberta.
Live stream coverage of the John Wark Memorial Basketball Tournament will be provided on vTV for the boys’ and girls’ finals beginning 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13.