I work in the sporting world and I love it, especially event days. The buzz of sharing celebrating cup winners over twitter to marshalling athletes around the mix zone that I grew up watching (Dwan Chambers – top bloke) to the atmosphere in the tunnel at a Premier football club making sure you are ready for anything. Living on the edge and I thrive in it.
Now I haven’t always dreamed of working in sport. As a child I was all about the arts, acting, dancing and painting. I was lucky enough not to have pushy parents (despite my mum wanting me so bad to take up hockey a sport she loves) they let us give everything a go, I tried trampolining and all of the dance styles imaginable which was great. I was never a season ticket holder for a football or rugby team, I never attended an athletics meet and I certainly showed no skills of ever being a Gold medalist. In anything.
Midway through secondary school I began to warm to the sport world. I was never picked first on skill but always on enthusiasm. A true team player is how I look at it. I made the school hockey team when I was 13. We never won but we had so much fun, to this day I still believe we were our teachers favourite as we were so much fun despite losing! I always ended up doing something in sports day (mainly triple jump as no one wanted to do it so I entered just to get that 1 point for entering. I have no spring in my step and I am short so you can image this wasn’t easy for me) I actually made the rounders team, yes that is a sport and it’s so much fun. Always enjoyed chanting ROUNDERS, ROUNDERS every Friday afternoon in our classroom PE session. We broke the teacher many times. I am probably being a bit harsh on myself, I can catch and throw and my hand-eye is pretty decent so I can hold my own.
Over this time, I became a Newcastle United fan, as my mum is from there and being the louder side of the family it was a given. We always had the F1 on every Sunday when the grandparents came over, over the summer I religiously watched the athletics on the BBC watching Denise Lewis, Jonathon Edwards and Colin Jackson compete and I won an easter egg once for naming the Grandstand theme the quickest. I was so smug as I beat all the boys.
I never knew what I wanted to do. I used to break down during my last year in 6th form trying to decide what I wanted to study. So much pressure is put on an 18-year-old on picking the rest of your life (that’s not true at all but at the time that’s how you feel) The school career guidance counsellor was so useless so that didn’t help. I had a mini break down with my head of 6th form who is a dream of a teacher, who suggested I should study sport journalism. I never admitted until then that I had always dream of being a BBC sports presenter or be on 5 live but I never thought how to get there or if I was good enough. I never felt my writing ability was good enough for journalism, I only ever enjoyed doing drama in my English classes!
Anyway me and mum travelled the country to check out all the universities and I settled on Staffordshire University; Sports Journalism. I got in (with very bad grades but my cover letter saved the day) being 1 of 2 girls on the course. I stuck it out, a wobble in first year over whether it was for me or not and I graduated with a 2:1 plus I had work experience at West Bromwich Albion FC. But most importantly I was a confident young women who was hungry for a career and had self-belief in who I am.
I constantly have doubts about my ability, everyone does. I am all about enhancing your strengths. It is ok to admit these, you should be shouting about these! It is not arrogance to admit them, if you can’t share your strengths that can lead to no self-belief which is not healthy. I still struggle with my weaknesses and I am still trying to decide if working in sport communications is for me. But I am only 24 and I have learnt so much so far. I am happy to learn more over the next few years in this sport world until I the penny drops of what I really want to do. I am ok with that. I mean I have an Olympics and 3 International hockey tournaments over the next two years which can’t be a bad thing!
I still believe I can smash it as a Blue Peter presenter.