The Pearce International Lima 2019 Press Operations School grew from work that we did in Baku, Azerbaijan for the inaugural 2015 European Games and the 2017 Islamic Games. In both of those events PI was determined to leave behind a social legacy of young Azerbaijani people who had received world class training and solid experience at world class international sporting events.
Long experience of witnessing and delivering training in Press Operations at many international sporting events had convinced us that training could be greatly improved to really ensure that trainees knew what was needed, had the necessary skills to do what was necessary and had the right attitude and confidence to be successful as media operations professionals at major sports events. Baku showed us that, with carefully designed training and the support of experienced international experts, young people from countries with limited experience of press operations at major events could deliver a top quality level of service to international press, photographers and broadcasters.
Lima 2019 gave us the opportunity to take the concept to a new level. The format was a 5 day long school for Venue Media Managers and a four day long school for Venue Photo Supervisors. It used a highly interactive training model, developed and improved over many years in all parts of the world. Pearce International delivered what we consider to be a ground-breaking experiential learning experience to 48 (mostly) young Peruvians with little or no experience in working on major sports events. Experts from the field were brought in and lead trainer Andrew McMenamin was greatly supported by Head of Press Operations Maria Belen Rojas Rojas and her team members.
The course finished with an exam with a pass mark of 80%; while not everyone achieved this the first time around, those who did not will have to opportunity to revise what they learned again and then be re-tested. A satisfaction and feedback survey of the School’s effectiveness was administered but the real test was the very satisfactory delivery of the venue media operations by almost all of the school’s graduates.
We were particularly delighted to be joined by Carlos Neuhaus Tudela, the Executive Director of Lima 2019. Not only did he come on the final day to give the trainees their certificates, he was also a guest speaker at both the VMM and the VPS schools, giving the trainees the big picture and helping them to inspire them in their new roles. We also owe thanks to our internal speakers from the Press Operations department, and our external speakers from all over Peru and those who Skyped in from further afield. Thank you all!