Two teenage pals who launched a YouTube podcast in lockdown are bowled over by the number of high profile guests from around the world who have appeared on their sports chat show. Now the schoolboys are hoping to pitch the idea to even more top names.
Fourteen-year-olds Spike Whitehouse from Coleshill and Will Burford from Lichfield are missing sports so much that they set up the ‘Sports Express Podcast’ to interview professional sports people via Zoom. The pair have chatted to a number of inspirational guests about their careers, including international cricketers Mark Cosgrove, Tom Cullen, Sean Dickson and Dane Villas after the boys reached out to the stars on social media.
The podcast has hit nearly 600 subscribers and the boys aim to increase their number of followers by reaching out to more sporting professionals, such as players, coaches and presenters. The young West Bromwich Albion fans even signed up their hero, legendary Baggies footballer, Chris Brunt, who appeared on the show this week.
Talented sportsman, Spike, is a year 9 student at The Coleshill School, part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP) and is goalkeeper for the school’s football team. He also plays football for Boldmere St Michaels and Kingshurst and is a spin bowler for Sutton Cricket Club.
His mother, Julie Whitehouse, said: “Spike and Will are both obsessed with sport. The have been great friends since they played district cricket together when they were 11. Lockdown has been very difficult for them as they don’t play video games like most of their peers, they just love their sport. Spike usually plays sport five or six days a week. He was a goalkeeper for Wolves until they realised at 11 he wasn’t going to be tall enough. He picked himself straight back up, took up cricket and played some games for Warwickshire last season.
“With the lockdown and all their sport being cancelled, the boys decided they needed to find something to keep in touch and to keep their sporting interest alive. They have worked really hard on the podcast and, although they are naturally quite shy, this has really boosted their confidence and given them a real purpose during these hard times.”
Julie added: “Spike does well at school and is coping with online learning well. He is missing sport though and has a lot of unspent energy! He is playing a lot of darts at home and plays tournaments online, which satisfies his competitive streak.
“I am extremely proud of everything Spike does. He has great spirit and always puts 100 per cent into everything – especially sport. He trains very seriously and always works hard in every match. He would like to be a professional sportsman in the future, and I would not be at all surprised if he achieves it!”
Coleshill headteacher, Ian Smith-Childs, said: “We are so proud of Spike, he has shown real Coleshill SPIRIT coming up with this idea and getting sports stars involved. I am crazy about sport, as Spike knows, and will definitely give the podcast a listen!”
Vanessa South, year 9 pastoral leader at The Coleshill School, said: “We are extremely proud of Spike and his efforts, and we are so pleased the podcast is a big success. We have such wonderful students at our school and their positive dedication and hard work inspires us all.”
“We are so proud of Spike, he has shown real Coleshill SPIRIT coming up with this idea and getting sports stars involved. I am crazy about sport, as Spike knows, and will definitely give the podcast a listen!”
– Coleshill headteacher,