Welcome to SC Sport, my sports blog while I study (BA) Sports Journalism at London College of Communication.
Ah, London – the big smoke, land of opportunity, a place where the pungent scent of raw sewage lurks around every corner, waiting to sting the nostrils of this unsuspecting writer who’s grown used to the clean air of the emerald isle. A place where drunken youths lurch with uncertainty onto the night bus, only to topple up the stairs and lie there, wallowing in their self-inflicted misery. A place where a haircut costs a staggering £13, while the man administering it pays more attention to the person he’s talking to through his earphones than to your hair. It could be worse, I suppose.
I’m here to do a three year (BA) Sports Journalism course at London College of Communication, and while London lacks in some areas, it is rife with opportunity for budding young writers. In that sense, it was an easy decision to leave behind the green fields of rural Donegal in favour of the grey, concrete behemoth of a city that for the next three years I will call my home. That said, when your stuffed hastily into an Underground carriage with dozens of sweaty commuters, you tend to question your thought processes.
“Is that a real course?,” one person remarked when I told them I was going to study Sports Journalism at university, and I’ll admit that it is a niche field of study. The fact that there are only fifteen students enrolled in first year of the course is testament to that. However, in an industry that is ever growing and evolving, I believe that specialised training and tuition is essential if one really wants to make their mark in an industry as saturated as sports writing is. Nowadays, anyone can open their laptop and write an article, and so finding and developing the ability to think creatively and, to use the cliché, stand out from the crowd, is critical in my opinion.
In fact, the field of Sports Journalism now encompasses a far wider range of skills than simply writing. Video, audio, broadcasting, multimedia production, public relations and communications are now part and parcel of this field of expertise that was once just about scribbling onto a notebook. With sports media spread across so many platforms, these modern transferable skills are key to the job. Personally, I can’t wait to crack into these aspects of the course, even though my focus will always be on writing.
The purpose of this blog is to showcase my work throughout the three years of the course, be it feature articles, interviews, match reports or book reviews. I’m hoping to be as consistent as possible, however I want this blog to go beyond the generic ‘Five things we learned’ type of article and delve deeper into key issues regarding sport both on the field and off it. I want to strive for quality over quantity and not simply churn out posts for the sake of it. Hopefully, with the help of the lecturers/tutors at uni, who so far seem to really know their stuff, my writing ability will continue to improve over the next few years.
George Orwell, famous novelist and journalist once said: “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.” While I’m a huge admirer of Orwell’s body of work, I couldn’t disagree more with him on this matter. I firmly believe that sport has the power to unify people of all race, religion and background. Sport provides the platform for minnows to triumph, and provide inspiration for the generations to come. People say ‘Well, sport isn’t real life, it doesn’t really matter’ but this is far from the truth. Yes, perhaps the result on the field is irrelevant in the grand scheme, but the impact that result might have on society and on our culture as a whole is very real. If I didn’t think sport was important, or if I deemed it irrelevant to society, then I wouldn’t have chosen to study Sports Journalism, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog.