Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

School Report goes backstage at Sports Personality

David Beckham speaks to School Report

At the age of 13, School Reporters Omari and Sukhpeet have already grabbed more big-name interviews in the space of an evening than some sport journalists manage in a career.

Given the chance to go backstage at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards at the LG Arena in Birmingham, the pair from St John Wall Catholic School in Handsworth took full advantage as they quizzed some of the biggest names in British sport - including a certain David Beckham!

The former England captain was joined by the likes of recently retired England cricket star Andrew Flintoff, Sports Personality winner and champion jockey Tony McCoy, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and golf's world number one Lee Westwood.

Phil Taylor with the School Reporters
Phil Taylor chats with the School Reporters before the show

Despite the string of top names - which also included darts world champion Phil Taylor and former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson - who stopped for a chat, Omari insisted he had not been nervous in the slightest.

The day began with a long walk through the snow at the back of the arena to find the special entrance where the School Report team could get their media accreditation in order to get access to the backstage area.

With that mission accomplished, it was time to head up to a prime interview spot outside the VIP lounge with a view of the special blue carpet area down which the night's biggest names would be making their way into the building.

As a string of cars pulled up to drop off the sport stars, Omari and Sukhpeet quickly learned that a sudden burst of flashbulbs from the waiting photographers was a sign to start preparing for the next big name.

The string of top interviews will now allow Sukhpeet to prove his friends wrong.

"My mates didn't believe that I was going to really interview any big stars," said Sukhpeet, whose main highlights of the evening were interviewing Beckham, Flintoff and Taylor.

"I said that there would be a chance of it, but they just didn't believe me!'"

Omari's friends did at least believe him: "They said 'I wish I was you' - but I told them 'sorry, you can't be me!"

After kicking off proceedings with a chat with Europe's Ryder Cup-winning captain Colin Montgomerie - who collected both the team of the year and coach of the year awards during the ceremony - the boys quickly rattled through a stellar list of interviewees.

"I wasn't nervous before we started but once some of the big stars started arriving I was a little bit," admitted Sukhpeet. "But as we did more interviews I got more and more confident."

Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie collected two awards in Birmingham

With only a rough idea of who would be arriving at any given time, Omari and Sukhpeet had to think on their feet but topical questions to Giggs about his Man Utd team-mate Wayne Rooney and to former Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie about his experiences in 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here' showed they quickly got the idea.

Last of all to arrive before the boys had to take their seats inside the arena to watch the show was Beckham, one of the biggest stars in the world.

Omari and Sukhpeet held their nerve to ask him about his lifetime achievement award, with a camera crew gathering the footage for the BBC.

After the show, which both School Reporters enjoyed, it was back into reporting mode as they tracked down world light-welterweight champion Amir Khan and world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis for further interviews.

"It was really special to see Tony McCoy and David Beckham get up on stage in front of thousands of people to collect their awards when we'd been talking to them just a little while earlier," said Omari.

Sukhpeet said the whole experience had been amazing and had made him feel more confident. "I think it showed that you have to make the most of opportunities when you get them," he added.

Asked if there was anything they would do differently, Omari admitted to one slight regret... "I wish I hadn't asked Lee Westwood what it's like to be a top jockey," he said, after a slight mix-up earlier in the evening when Westwood and 15-time champion jockey McCoy arrived in quick succession!



SEE ALSO
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