Journalism’s single and joint honour students who take a sports module have been lucky enough to visit three of Leicester’s top sporting sides since returning from Christmas.
Around 30 students have had the opportunity to visit Leicester City’s King Power Stadium, Leicester Tigers’ Wellford Road and Leicester’s County Cricket side, the Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.
Over the trips the students have been able to meet media and press officers to take a glance at what some of their future careers may hold and get a great insight into the behind the scenes of the biggest clubs in the county.
Mark Farmer, Journalism Single Honours student, said: “These opportunities to visit these clubs has been a brilliant opportunity and has really shown me what it takes to get a career in this field.”
The first trip taken by the students was to the home of the Champions of England, Leicester City. Here they were taken on an access all areas tour of the stadium looking around the players dressing room, the dugout and where the media hold their press meetings after the games.
Anthony Herlihy, Leicester City’s Head of Media, hosted the visit and provided the students with a Q&A session and a talk on the successes of the Championship winning season.
Luke Hawker, Journalism Single Honours Student, said: “Speaking to Anthony was a great chance to see what it’s like to work at the Premier League Champions and what an area of journalism I would love to work in is all about.
“Having a conversation with someone who has so much experience in a field I’m interested in furthering my career was priceless.”
The students next visit was to Grace Road, home of Leicester’s County Cricket team. Here they looked around the ground, seeing where the players train and where the TV crews set up during live matches.
During the tour the students met with Daniel Nice, Communications Manager at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, who is an ex-student of DMU so knew exactly how and what the students were feeling about going into their final years.
Daniel said: “Several years ago, I started my career path in journalism by studying at DMU, so it’s always nice to give something back to a university that gave me so much.
“The students asked some interesting questions and I tried to give them an insight into the world of cricket and the media, as well as showing them around the ground, so hopefully they got plenty out of that.
“Hopefully these trips to the major sport teams in Leicester will inspire the students who came along to keep following their dreams of getting into journalism.”
The last stadium on this mini tour was at Welford Road, home of the Leicester Tigers.
Again, the students met with industry professionals and taken on a brilliant tour of the facilities.
Lee Marlow, DMU Sports Journalism Lecturer, said: “These trips had been every bit as enjoyable for me as they had been for the students. It’s a real privilege to teach this course.
“I hope it’s given the students a valuable insight into how these clubs interact with the media to promote what they do and how that relationship works.
“The landscape of sports journalism is changing. Ten years ago, most sports journalism students would have looked to the regional press for their future careers. That’s changing now.
“Today, sports teams like City, Tigers and County are expanding their staff and generating their own publicity – LCFC had three press officers five years ago; they have more than a dozen now – offering an alternative route into sports media.”
Summarising the experience, Sam Coleman, Journalism Single Honours student, said: “These trips have been brilliant. You don’t receive these sorts of opportunities from every course so I am very grateful.
“It’s opened my eyes to what sort of work I can get into within my journalistic career.”