School children from across West Cumbria are getting ready to compete in Rock Challenge and J Rock over the next two days.

16 teams will take part in the event at Carlisle's Sands Centre.

From West Cumbria the Whitehaven Academy, West Lakes Academy, and St Benedict’s Catholic High School have all retained their premier division status, and will be showcasing their performances in Carlisle before competing at the Northern Premier Final in June.

West Lakes Academy had an incredibly successful 2018. They won the Northern Premier final, receiving ten awards of excellence plus the award for performers choice, which sees the other competing teams vote for their favourite performance.

As a result of this they qualified for the National Final, which happens only once every three years. The school then placed second at the National Final.

Also returning after tremendous success is Maryport CE Junior School. They placed first at the 2018 Northern J Rock final, winning every available award of excellence for their performance, in addition to the awards for stage crew, video performance and the performers choice award.

This year, due to their 2018 success, they will be showcasing at the Carlisle heat, as they have automatically qualified for the Northern J Rock final.

Moor Row Primary School are entering for the first time and are joining forces with Orgill Primary School. The team will be looking to emulate Orgill’s 2018 success, which saw them place first at the Carlisle heat, where they also won the spirit of J Rock award, in which the other competing schools vote for the school that has been the friendliest and most supportive throughout the day.

Orgill also qualified for the Northern J Rock Final, where they placed fifth.

Event Manager, Charlotte Payne said: “I look forward to seeing the wide range of performances that the schools bring to our events every year! It’s always fantastic to see the hard work put in by all the schools realised on stage. In 2019, we are putting on more shows than in any other year, and I can’t wait to take on the challenge!”

Schools enter the popular event in September and rehearse for months to perfect their choreography, costumes and coaching.

The events involve young people in every aspect of the performance; from set construction, choreography, hair and make-up and costume design and the events are also designed to motivate and inspire students to lead positive pro-active lives.

Rock Challenge and J Rock take place on March 14 and 15. Tickets are £14.50 each, available from the Sand's Centre box office on 01228 633766.