“Quizmas come early” – the Teesside University students heading to the International Quizzing Championships

A team of Sport Journalism students from Teesside University is heading to Spain on an assignment to cover this weekend’s International Quizzing Championships.

The event will feature quizzing heavyweights such as Pat Gibson, who won the £1m prize in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Paul Sinha, star of The Chase, and Ronny Swiggers, individual champion at last year’s event.

Joining them will be three of the university’s second year students – Ben Rowell, Danny Nicholson and Jacob Raw, who met event organiser, Jane Allen, in a recent seminar.

Jane told the students that the event was the pinnacle of competitive quizzing.

“This is quiz run as a sport and it’s mind-bendingly difficult,” she said.

“Participants train for these events like an athlete would for a world championships – but in this case it is a sport of the mind.”

Impressed by the students, Jane offered them the opportunity to test their journalism skills at the forthcoming event, held in Torremolinos.

The students will be producing social media content, press releases, match reports and features for the event, which runs across three days from Friday. As well as providing content for the event, the students will be using the opportunity to hone their skills in interviewing and content production.

Jim Entwistle, senior lecturer on the Sport Journalism course, said: “It’s an unusual assignment but one that Danny, Ben and Jacob are more than up to. We’re always on the lookout for meaningful experiences and opportunities for our students – and opportunities don’t come bigger than the International Quizzing Championships – we’re hugely grateful to Jane for this chance.”

Danny Nicholson, 21, said: “I’m looking forward to getting out there and creating some content. I pride myself on my general knowledge so I’m hoping to take on some of the participants at the quiz while I’m there, but I’m realistic about my chances.”

Jacob Raw, 19, said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity and a good chance to represent the university abroad. It will allow me to develop my skills in a real-world, high-profile environment. It’s a prestigious event and I’m just delighted to be going. It feels like Quizmas has come early.”

Jane added: “We want to have a relationship with the University that is symbiotic – we are getting access to the talents of these students, and the students are getting chance to develop their skills at the same time. Everyone’s a winner.”

The students will be publishing on www.quizzing.com and its social media platforms, and will write an update for this blog next week.