The Isle of Man’s schools are gearing up to play an active part in celebrations to mark the Centenary of the TT.
Competitions, talks from well-known personalities from the world of motorcycling and a giant collaborative art project are among the areas pupils will be participating in the run up to the world famous races’ 100th anniversary this May and June.
The Department of Education wants to increase pupils’ understanding of the place of the TT in Manx history and culture as it celebrates its centenary, explained Lindsay Riordan, who is co-ordinating pupils’ activities.
It is also hoped to leave lasting legacies for future generations in the form of collaborative art and ICT work that captures Island life at a particular moment in time.
The Department is working in partnership with Paul Phillips, TT Development Manager at the Department of Tourism and Leisure, the TT Marshals’ Association, Dot Tilbury at the Isle of Man Post Office and Lloyd Mister at G4S, among others.
Lindsay, who is the Department of Education’s coordinator for its TT projects, said of the centenary:
“It is a fantastic event that has so much to offer educationally. It enables pupils to work in so many areas of the curriculum and it helps pupils understand something that is truly Manx. It is also a chance for TT sponsors to get involved with the Island’s 12,227 pupils by sponsoring prizes etc.”
The historic TT trophies, replicas and medals are to be shown off in all secondary schools as part of the celebrations. Meanwhile, marshals are to visits schools as part of a road show and will explain their role in helping the TT run.
Tourism Minister Adrian Earnshaw and well-known race commentators Geoff Cannell, Roy Moore and others are also working with schools, particularly Key Stage 2 pupils, and will be explaining their roles during the TT. They will encourage the young people to write and record their own commentaries.
Schools are being invited to take part in a collaborative art project, decorating an A3 piece of wood using any medium to recreate the TT insignia and the chequered flag. It is planned that this will go on permanent public display once the races are over to create a lasting legacy of the youngsters’ involvement.
Students are being invited to take part in several art competitions. They include designing a road sign for a TT landmark, drawing a bike part or a trophy, designing a helmet for a Manx racer, creating a radio advertisement which emphasises the road safety message and taking photos of spectators at the Centenary TT.
ICT projects include designing the bike of the future by computer and capturing and manipulating digital images of the spirit of the Centenary TT.
Special teaching materials are accessible to all schools via the Department’s internal website.
The Post Office has sent all 40 schools a set of its special TT stamp issue and will display TT competition entries in its outlets.
Education Minister Anne Craine MHK said of the packed programme of activities:
“This is a really exciting way for our school children to become actively involved in the Centenary TT celebration. Traditionally everyone has had a part to play in the greatest road race in world and this year is the year to be here and be part of it.”
“The secondary schools will have a chance to view the magnificent trophies, which I am sure is something that has never been done before and will give the students a great buzz. Creating commentaries will show us where the future talent for race commentating lies and I am sure that the competitions, which include art, craft and photography, will open the field to allow everyone the opportunity to have a go.”
“The TT is a strong part of the Manx identity and I hope that, by involving themselves through the wide range of competitions on offer, students will see the way in which it has contributed to our Island in the last 100 years and, with their involvement, will continue to do so.”