Last year, I was lucky enough to be chosen as the 2013 BBC Kick Off reporter for BBC Radio Jersey.
Despite the scheme running throughout the summer, there was still a plethora of sport to get involved in. I covered just about everything, from cricket to shooting, rugby to swimming, football to gymnastics. It really was hands-on work too: sourcing material, conducting interviews, editing clips, appearing live on BBC Jersey’s Sportscene programmes - and even writing stories for the BBC Sport website!
It was nothing like what you might expect from what is essentially a work experience placement.
From day one, I really was made to feel part of the team. It wasn’t just making cups of tea (although the odd office brew never went amiss) – by my second week I’d broadcast live from international cricket matches, and by the beginning of the third I’d even been part of a live commentary team from the final of an ICC tournament.
Working in a small BBC office had its advantages too. I worked not only with radio but with TV as well, and there were plenty of opportunities to get involved in stories away from the world of sport. I did a few interviews for the local news, and, when they found out that I had two degrees in Politics, I appeared as an ‘expert guest’ on the BBC Jersey’s lunchtime show during a debate about electoral systems!
The best advice I was given was to ‘be a sponge’: soak up as much as you can. BBC Kick Off gave plenty of opportunities to do just that, and looking back the eight weeks flew by. At the start I had little to no experience of many of the tasks required in local radio, but now I’m certain that it’s where I see my future career.
I’ve been a regular voice on BBC Radio Jersey, I’ve had stories published on the BBC Sport website, and I’ve conducted interviews with some of the island’s biggest sporting names.
Not bad for a summer’s work eh?
*The BBC Kick Off scheme runs throughout the summer, creating an opportunity for budding sports reporters to gain experience working in our regional reporting teams and, in many cases, “kicking off” successful careers in the field. BBC Outreach & Corporate Responsibility provides funding for the scheme, along with English Regions, which brings us closer to those audiences often considered harder to reach. You can read more about last year’s scheme on the BBC blog.
A film about the BBC Kick Off 2013 scheme.