Three University of Brighton sport journalism students were invited to cover a Lewes FC Women’s match as part of an initiative to combat inequality in football.
Final-year students Shania Bedi and Jessica Watkins and second-year student Daniella Challis worked alongside industry professionals in Lewes’s Women’s Championship match against Leicester City, developing their skills in videography, presenting, photography and commentary. Jessica and Daniella were on commentary and interview duty, while Shania wrote a match report that was published in The Argus.
The University of Brighton and Lewes FC teamed up as part of the #FootballPeople campaign run by the FARE network, launched with the aim of boosting social inclusion in football: https://farenet.org/
At The Dripping Pan, Lewes FC Women’s home stadium, the students participated in a mentoring workshop with Ben Jacobs, who has presented and commentated for BBC, ESPN and BEIN Sports, and Sophie Lawson, a women’s football journalist who has covered international tournaments. First-year students also attended the match and posed some questions in the post-match press conference.
Lewes FC Women’s general manager, Maggie Murphy, said the club’s involvement in the campaign was a fitting way “to celebrate diversity in football”.
Speaking about inviting the Brighton students to the Leicester City game, she said: “Rather than wear t-shirts and promote slogans on social media, we were keen to offer some hands-on expertise to aspiring journalists from underrepresented backgrounds in sports media, with the possibility of them being able to generate pieces for their portfolios that could stand them in good stead in their future job interviews.
“I was delighted to see how quickly the students got involved in the mentoring workshop, and really pleased to see how Jess and Daniella took to live commentating and conducting interviews at half-time.
“It was also a pleasure to welcome first-year students to the game and see them in action in the press conference with Fran Alonso afterwards. Their questions were incisive, well-researched and provocative, drawing some very open, honest and tough responses.
“I hope that all the aspiring journalists took some lessons away, grew in confidence and will feel confident in their own abilities going forward. Lewes FC was delighted to have them at the match and are already looking at other potential avenues to support their future careers.”