A degree in Sports Journalism could be your ticket to the biggest sporting events around the world. Which is exactly what happened to current student Oli Osborne, who recently struck gold with a dream internship covering the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Take a read through his story to see what he got up to, and discover what a degree in Sports Journalism could mean for you.
As Team Paralympics GB scooped 64 golds, and 147 medals in total to finish second behind China, Oli was in the Brazilian capital gaining valuable on-the-job experience he will treasure forever. After responding to an advert, Oli was one of 14 volunteers selected to support the International Paralympic Committee’s media output for four weeks throughout the Paralympic Games. His role as a live clippings and social media uploader saw him watching and editing live streams from Olympic Broadcast Service (OBS) for each Paralympic sport, before publishing onto Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“It was a great experience and I really enjoyed being part of the second biggest sporting event in the world,” said Oli.
“There was an intensity that I thrived working under, which will only aid my development as a journalist. The skills I was taught at University and my previous experience in the field have helped me excel under the pressure of covering sport for a global audience.”
Oli, 21, explained how athletics and swimming took priority, with an emphasis on video editing and uploading coverage onto YouTube.
“Other uploads to Facebook and Twitter were used when world records were broken or for "Wow" moments, something that makes the viewer feel the emotion involved in the clip,” he said.
Oli was able to attend each venue on the Barra Olympic Park site to experience some of those ‘wow’ moments, including one that has been referred to as the highlight of the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I was fortunate enough to be covering live when Iranian powerlifter Siamand Rahman became the first para-athlete to break the 300kg barrier in the men's +107kg division,” recalled Oli.
“Not only did he do this, but he did so with three consecutive attempts, taking his final lift up to 310kg. That’s the weight of two baby elephants!
“Being involved in historic sporting moments is something I've always wanted to do as a journalist. Hopefully it's not the last.”
Oli, who graduates in November, stressed how his three years on the BA Sports Journalism course helped prepare him for the challenges presented in Rio.
“There was a great amount I took from my course at the University of Chester into the Paralympics role. The emphasis on the digital aspects of media by the course leaders proved to be right. Everything we did in Rio revolved around getting the most out of our digital media platforms.
“After having this opportunity, I recommend to anyone looking to pursue a sports media career to find experience that makes their CV standout.”
BA Sports Journalism Programme Leader David Randles said: “This was an incredible opportunity for Oli to take on so soon after completing his studies.
“I am delighted our Sports Journalism students are able to showcase their skills on such high-profile global stages. It demonstrates the value of the industry-focused tuition delivered on the programme where employability is top of our list of priorities.”