Bristol Schools' Virtual Slam Dunk with boomsatsuma

With students in homeschool mode and all sporting fixtures cancelled, local education provider boomsatsuma is bringing together students from multiple courses to enable two Bristol schools to replace this season’s basketball finalé in virtual format, scheduled for 4th May.

The year 11 National Southern National Final, with Bristol Metropolitan Academy due to play ‘Holy Trinity’ in Sussex, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, disappointing one of Bristol’s finest sporting teams. boomsatsuma students are collaborating with Bristol Metropolitan Academy to recreate a moment to celebrate the end of a great season. City Academy Bristol were happy to take the challenge from their local rivals.

Tom Hooper, head of PE at Bristol Metropolitan Academy and running the Basketball Program, commented:

“The team have played fantastically all season and the achievement of reaching the National final is fantastic; it’s a real disappointment to the whole team that we haven’t now got the opportunity to go on and lift the trophy in May. When boomsatsuma approached us with the online game idea it’s been a real lift to our spirits, and while it’s not like being on the court, it’s fantastic to bring both of these teams together.”

boomsatsuma is building on its long history with both schools, having hosted its first Bristol course at Bristol Metropolitan Academy in 2013 and running courses within City Academy Bristol. Cabot Learning Federation manages both schools and supports the activity as an important part of stimulating student’s development during lockdown.

The contribution boomsatsuma students are making, as part of their home learning, draws on several courses including the Games, VR and VFX students producing motion graphics assets, Film & Television supporting the live streaming and Sports Media supporting player profiles, with the interval entertainment coming from Games Design, Dance and Acting students.

boomsatsuma director Mark Curtis stated:

“We’re dedicated to keeping students engaged in projects that touch the community, focusing their creative energies in a positive way during these challenging times. We’re also proud that we will be sponsoring the Bristol Metropolitan Academy strip next season, strengthening our bond with them when the players are able to return to the court for real games.”

Work is currently underway to test and finetune the technology to bring players together from their respective isolated homes. Anticipation is already building for what is sure to be a keenly contested game, which fans from both schools can support via the live stream on Twitch.

The virtual game is planned for Monday 4th May and hopes to attract over 1,000 attendees “on the virtual bleachers” who will be able to tune into Twitch to watch its replacement: a live streamed Xbox running of the tournament, played by the actual team players from the two schools with others “on the bench”. Full information will be coming soon on the organisation website and social channels and fans will be able to follow the teams’ training in the run up to the game.