Robin has many bloke's idea of the dream job: writing and reporting on his favourite sport. He has written some great advice for anyone looking do to something similar.
I’m currently the News Editor for a relatively new rugby website called ‘Ultimate Rugby Sevens’ (http://www.ur7s.com" rel="nofollow">www.ur7s.com). Sevens is a fast growing sport with the major tournaments attracting vast crowds and the recent promotion of Sevens into the Olympic programme. We specialise in promoting the sport and reporting on tournaments across the world.
My chief duty is to report on Rugby Sevens from all over the globe through news articles, features, interviews, blogs etc. The glamorous side of my job involves travelling around the world reporting on the eight tournaments of IRB Sevens World Series. As an Editor a lot of my work is also ‘outreach’ which means I’m constantly on the phones and emails to coaches, unions, and players getting information and organising interviews for quotes etc.
I have to also reach out to our Blogumnists (Columnists) for material. There is a lot of planning required to structure what goes on the website and when. We try to look really far in advance but have to be flexible like any media outlet.
Ultimate Rugby Sevens is a small company so the work is pretty varied so I muck in and work with our PR guys and Online Marketing team also.
I worked in Commercial Property. That dream lasted approximately 2 months, before I fell victim to the recession. Tough crowd!
I’ve always loved sport and have wanted to be involved in it as a career for a while. I probably gave up on it too easily to start with upon graduation and took the safe/standard option instead.
I got in some decent work experience at Sky Sports. I think my ‘road to Damascus’ moment was when my boss from the Commercial Property company that I was working for used a cricket analogy to get rid of me… something like "I’m afraid it’s time to remove the bails on this one" – if that wasn’t a sign I don’t know what is.
I heard about some freelance work with a sports website that was going. It was unpaid but gave me some good writing experience and something to show my prospective employers at UR7s.
Hardest thing: Having the confidence to take a step into the unknown.
Best things: Travelling the world, making key contacts, and getting to work within international sport.
Network, network, network.
If you’re currently working in a job but have always fancied yourself as a journalist, don’t be afraid to write/blog in your spare time, just so you have some writing out there online.
Speak to any industry contacts you know to find an avenue in somewhere. Work experience is key too.