Sport Editor Andrew Magee looks back on a year of highs and lows in the world of sports journalism…
AS I SIT IN THE SAINT OFFICE putting the finishing touches to this issue and pondering what words of wisdom to offer in my final editorial, I’ve decided that I’m not very wise. Instead, I think I’ll focus on the editorial bit.
To quote a famous blue eyed boy, it’s been a very good year. I remember about this time last year nervously delivering my sales pitch on election night to the Saint committee, eagerly hoping that I could defeat RON. Thankfully, his speech was crap so I won. And I’m delighted I did.
Despite an awful lot of late nights (the clock is nearing midnight as I type…) and several desperate last minute attempts to pull together articles, pictures, quotes and tables, it’s been worth it. Not many other university societies or clubs can give you the chance to interview Olympic sprinters, go on all expenses paid trips, genuinely produce a legitimate piece of work involving a Nintendo Wii or see you get into Wembley for free. Thanks to this marvellous little paper, all of the above has been possible.
But away from the more glamorous side of it, working with and reporting on the sports clubs here has given me an insight into the dedication and talent of our student athletes. And with that has come a whole new level of appreciation.
I used to think that sport at school and university was a bit of a hobby. Something to do to get a bit of exercise, meet some people and generally have a laugh. And it is all of those things. But it is so much more.
My favourite Saint sport memory was witnessing a memorable basketball match at the end of my second year. The sports hall was packed, the team was on fire and they held on superbly to clinch the league title. The atmosphere was amazing and I loved writing that match report. And I don’t even like basketball.
In March I was lucky enough to work at the BUCS National Championships and got to see first hand just what sport can mean to students. I’m not a fan of athletics but there was a girls’ 3000m race, one which saw the gold and silver medals seperated by one second. The noise was deafening; the competitors were shattered. But speaking to the winner afterwards and seeing the elation on her face was something special. It may have ‘only’ been a student competition, but it would undoubtedly be the highlight of her sporting life.
It’s these kinds of things that have stuck with me over the course of the year. The celebrity interviews and exotic trips (to Sheffield) are a bonus. They’re certainly a nice bonus, but what has really made an impression on me as editor is the seriousness with which students take their sport. Yes, it can, and almost certainly should, involve an awful lot of socialising, but sport can do a lot more. Reporting might not quite be the same as competing, but in landing this job as editor, I certainly won the gold. YES! SPORTS PUN OF THE CENTURY!
And with that loyal readers, I will bid you bonne chance and farewell.