Sports journalism: why do we do it?

I have been covering sport here at York for eight weeks now, the last five as Sports Editor, and I have very quickly realised that this job is more strenuous than most would predict. Even in the quietest of weeks there is still a huge amount of sport to be covered, and of course we can never manage it all.

More often than not I feel as if I’m a full-time Sports Editor for Nouse and study for a degree in my spare time – and that’s after five weeks in the job. This colossal workload, then, begs the question: ‘why do we do it?’

Many have asked me why I choose to stand on the freezing cold fields of 22 Acres for hours on end. Or why I decided to get up at 6am on consecutive Sunday mornings so that I could catch a train here to witness the latest instalment of college football, rather than sit at home and enjoy a bit of Goals on Sunday.

Or why I spend many a night trawling through articles on lacrosse, water polo and others that our dedicated reporters choose to write, when I could be out on the town.

“Sport is really about passion, pride and unity – qualities that are so often lost in the maze of the professional game”

The reason we do this is the same reason why so many of you play sport here (whether you realise it or not) – because it connects us with what we truly love about sport.

When we stand on the touchline, notepad and pen clasped in our frostbitten hands, we are reminded of why we are drawn to sport in the first place – not for the glitz and glamour but for the heart and soul.

Because sport is really about passion, pride and unity – qualities that are so often lost in the maze of the professional game, but exemplified superbly in every match here.

That is what makes covering sport so enjoyable and worth every bout of hypothermia and pair of mud-splattered jeans. How often do we hear fans or pundits deriding the overpaid prima donnas that represent the best of modern sportsmen?

But here, the competitors play sport for the love of it – they are paid no money to do it and they are under no obligation to turn up at all.

And yet they do. And so do we, because, ultimately, we just want to watch some sport (high quality or not) and write about it.

This job, too, is not an obligation; it’s a choice – one that I am extremely glad I made, despite the late nights and early mornings. Yes, it’s a tough, unforgiving and intense job – but would we really have it any other way?

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