Ultimate Sports Day
Ultimate Sports Day is a landmark televised sports series, aimed at unearthing the UK’s most gifted sports talent between the ages of 12-16. Created by MTC Managing Director, Jonathan Marks, the show’s first series was commissioned for 11 episodes, transmitted on BBC2 and CBBC in the lead up to London 2012. USD is currently being repeated on the CBBC channel daily at 11:00am.
The programme commenced with two national ‘boot camp’ selection events. Here, the youngsters were put through their paces and gradually whittled down to four teams representative of each home nation. This ‘X Factor’ style approach was used to engage a wider and more interactive interest from the television audience, while retaining the integrity of sport.
Each team was mentored by one of the UK’s best known sporting stars: Dean Macey for England, Sinead Kerr for Scotland, Christian Malcolm for Wales and Barry McGuigan for Northern Ireland. As the series continued, the teams were pitched against one another in a series of specially devised ‘Ultimate Events’, testing their core sports skill sets.
In the development of the programme, we partnered with the Youth Sports Trust to source the exceptional young talent, and the renowned Professor Greg Whyte to help develop the activities and oversee the competition’s lifecycle.
The project has been strongly supported by a clutch of Olympic stars, including Olympic medallists Phillips Idowu, Amy Williams and Kelly Sotherton who even put their money where their mouths are by taking part in an All Star Special.
During its first series, Ultimate Sports Day had an average 20% audience share. In its short time, the programme has already shown the ability to pique the sporting and competitive interests of the UK’s youth, as well as its potential to deliver a substantial sporting legacy. With such significant success, plans are now afoot to develop the project internationally.
Ultimate Sports Day had great support from some brilliant sports stars, here is what some of them said:
- Rebecca Adlington
“What a fantastic programme, I wish Ultimate Sports Day had been around when I was younger. It is great to see kids being competitive whilst learning new skills and having fun. Where do I sign up to be a mentor?!”
- Dai Greene
“It’s great to see children from each of the home nations competing for their country and supporting one another, teamwork is important even in the individual sports. Ultimate Sports Day is an aspirational show – long may it continue!”
- Victoria Pendleton
“The Olympics is a great opportunity to encourage kids to participate in sport but this needs to be maintained after the Games finish. Ultimate Sports Day is the perfect show to encourage kids sporting participation; exciting games, covering all sports skill sets and the chance to learn from some sporting hero’s, why was this not around when I was younger?!”
Discover more about Ultimate Sports Day by visiting the dedicated CBBC website.