Saturday, 9 March 2013

First article in the P & J

Last month, I gained a week of work with a leading Scottish paper as a 'news desk reporter' and absolutely loved it!  Never before have I properly worked in an office 9-5 so when I first stepped into it, I was slightly overwhelmed.  Although soon the people around me made me feel a lot more comfortable and my experience was under way.
Ideally, I was hoping to work in journalism dealing with some sort of sports coverage but any time spent in this type of profession is going to be a great learning opportunity. Throughout the week I was approached to do different tasks and travel on out of office trips! One day reporting in court the next in the council offices and most impressively my own piece in the paper itself!
From the help and support of the staff around me I attempted to write my own article. As you can see below, it was on an extremely cool topic with some awesome pictures to start my research. Speaking with the client on the phone, preparing questions and attempting to gain as much information for my final piece was daunting but really rewarding.
My week in the office has made me hungry for more similar experience however I'm not sure I can sit inside 9-5! Perhaps, I will have to get used to it as our world is evermore technologically driven but I much prefer getting out of office and stuck into on a story!

Star reporter!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Lance Armstrong revisted.


Previously on my blog, I wrote of Lance Armstrong as one of my greatest living legends in sport. Unfortunately, these feelings have been somewhat quashed and I doubt they shall ever return. Indeed, this piece proves difficult to write.
A month ago, when reading the headline of Tom Englishs' article in the Scotland on Sunday,  I thought this quote summed up Armstrongs' behaviour from the Oprah interview:
"Armstrong said he was sorry and would spend the rest of his life making amends but that rang false.  He came across as a man who reserved his greatest regret for the fact that he got caught."
Indeed, I feel he failed to show real remorse for the people he appears to have bullied, ridiculed and forcefully acted against for accusing him of cheating throughout his cycling career. In addition, it appears that he continues to find it difficult to tell the truth.  
As this story continues to unfold in the public eye, the claims against Armstong continue to grow.  How were these voices not heard before? 
Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself that this story is actually real. A cheat, a liar and a bully. What are your thoughts and opinions? 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Back to Ibrox.

Rangers 1 Elgin City 1
It was my first trip back to Ibrox since Rangers' drop to the Scottish 3rd division. I could lie to you and say it was how I remembered it or I could tell you my actual experience...

As Elgin City and Newco Rangers emerged from the tunnel, all seemed as I remembered it: Tina Turner and that song, the roar of the packed Govan stadium and the presence of Super Ally in the dug out. However, I soon noticed a different strip, a different line up and next, a different game. Perhaps the most overwhelming change was the difference in quality. That is not to say that the level of skill, fitness or competition was poor, it was just a significant step down from the SPL. However, what slightly made up for it was the continued passion and pride of the fans.
Credit was due to the visiting team whom from the offset appeared organised in formation, disciplined in defence and looked threatening whenever on a break away attack. Although, the home advantage of having a '12th man' appeared to give the Glasgow side the upper hand in the first half. A low shot from Lewis MacLeod gave the crowd something to cheer about and the excitement was certainly not over yet.  A tackle from Paul Harkins on Rangers' Ian Black, led to his dismissal just before half-time adding a different and new dimension to the game.
In the second half, opportunities fell to a variety of the home sides' players, perhaps most agonisingly an open goal miss from captain Lee McCulloch.  With three minutes from the final whistle, Stuart Leslie's header was spilled by goalkeeper Alexander and the visitors' equalised.
Overall, a rued chance by Rangers' to take advantage of a man down, Ross Jack's men became the first visiting team to claim league points at Ibrox this season. Ally McCoist's side still remain top of the table but it is clear that Ibrox is not the fortress it used to be.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

SPOTY

Bradley Wiggins is now definitely top of my VIP party list! A well deserved winner of the prestigious award after his record breaking Tour de France triumph and Olympic Gold medal ride. But, most importantly for this occasion is his honest, quirky and unique personality. In true Wiggo style, his acceptance speech and interview with Sue was many peoples' highlight of the night. 
Jess Ennis looked stunning in a Victoria Beckham red dress to pick up the runners up award while Andy Murray provided some laughs with an awkward sequence of events with the not so smooth trophy hand over with Lennox Lewis.  After an incredibly exciting year of sport for British athletes, the night was highly anticipated by much of the nation. The dynamite combination of  Sue, Gary and Clare, managed to squeeze the packed line up into the time schedule including a guest appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge herself - a keen sports fan!
The award for team of the year added a new dimension to the night when it was awarded to a collective Team GB. A collage of images of the successes of Team GBs Olympians and Paralympians ignited the lifelong memories created at London 2012. Clearly, for the official SPOTY panel to decide between all the outstanding individual and team performances at the event was too difficult to achieve. In this way, each success and contribution was recognised.
A personal highlight of the night was the guest appearance from one of our national treasures, David Beckham, looking dapper as always.  His speech for the Lifetime Achievement award recognised the contributions and dedication of Sir Sebastion Coe to sport and in particular for the organisation and running of London 2012.
Hopefully this night will be the start of a continuation of outstanding performances in British sport and the beginning of a new generation of SPOTY's.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My first article in university paper!

A copy of my first published article in a newspaper.

I am very grateful for the opportunity in the sports section (even it they did include a Match Results add on with the wrong result) and looking forward to next weeks piece.

Thanks to the Gaudie Newspaper.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Dismal display

Wales 2 Scotland 1

Above is the men's national football team's latest result (if you didn't already know!) What baffles me as a sportswoman is certain peoples obsession with continuing to always blame performances on the manager. If my hockey coach changed monthly there would be absolutely no consistency or belief among the squad. Levein is giving it his best but perhaps it is the players who have not performed well enough in these big games? Take one look at the standard of the SPL compared to the PL and there is no comparison. One has worldwide following, lots of money, foreign players whereas the other not so much. Perhaps, our squad is just not good enough? What do we as a nation need to do to successfully produce homegrown talent? Remember our Olympians and Paralympians? We certainly have sporting talent in our small nation and can compete on the world stage. So how can we produce this on the football pitch? How can Scotland get back up the rankings to the good old days? Maybe we need to take a look at our national health statistics and realise more sport has to be played than moaned about.

I admit this is a generalization here and that the country can produce and has produced world class footballers but frankly there are not enough. Look at the women's squad reaching the Euro playoffs against Spain for the second time running this weekend under Anna Signeul who has been in the job since 2005 - that is 7 years in the job showing a managerial post is not an overnight success!

Scotland loose to a team ranked one below them in the FIFA world rankings and again it is an outcry of "sack the manager". Wales are ranked 57 and Scotland 56 and I understand these are only numbers and we were 1-0 up and lost two goals in the final ten minutes but what continuity and confidence will be brought to the squad now if we don't at least give Levein a chance until the end of the campaign? Serbia ranked 33  in the world and we draw 0-0 and so it is "sack the manager". Macedonia 1-1 and it's all the managers fault that we cannot beat a lower ranked team.  
Now, do not get me wrong there was that dodgy tactic with no player up front in Prague but Levein has proven himself as a top class footballer on the pitch and a successful manager winning SPL manager of the month 6 times. 
There is no doubt about it, there is talent out there and it is about recognizing what needs to happen to help youngsters progress successfully through to senior level.

Remember that time we won the World Cup?

"It's not the defeat that get's every Scotland fan, it's the hope beforehand" (Bell, 2012).

I would be really interested to hear people's thoughts on football in Scotland- just comment below!

Friday, 5 October 2012

"Crouch, touch, set"

Back in June, The International Rugby Board announced a trial for new scrum calls to be introduced throughout the rugby union game next season. There had been calls from various  corners to change the call the referee makes prior to the scrum. The new call - "crouch, touch, set" will replace the old "crouch, touch, pause, engage." Many believe that a high number of resets are due to this more prolonged process leading to scrums collapsing. For example, the two syllable word "en-gage" means that these extremely strong athletes react at different times compared to the short one syllable word "set".
Hopefully this will be slightly safer for the players involved but also a better, more fluent game for the spectators to watch. It is important to rugby that the scrum is not lost as the idea of two packs of men colliding with strength, power and technique is what makes the game unique. However, we shall have to wait three years while the IRB's Steering Group complete their findings. 

Have you been watching the domestic season so far? Do you think the new calls have made an impact on the game?

RIP Nevin Spence
Speaking of the domestic rugby union season over a month has past and the RaboDirect12 and Aviva Premiership are fully underway. Northampton sitting on top down south with five wins from five and Ulster doing the late Nevin Spence proud sitting top of the celtic league. A shocker so far for Sale whom signed an array of big players including Scotland's own Richie Gray but are currently sitting bottom of the league not having won a game. At the other end of the RaboDirect 12 it is both the Italian sides Treviso and Zebre whom again have failed to make much of an impact. Although, with the European competitions starting next weekend could we see a shift in team line ups and results? Will wait and see!
Here are the fixtures for both leagues this weekend;

Friday, 5 October 2012
Sale v Leicester, 20:00
Zebre v Ospreys, 18:05
Scarlets v Newport-Gwent D'gons, 19:05
Ulster v Connacht, 19:05
Edinburgh v Treviso, 19:30
Saturday, 6 October 2012
Gloucester v Bath, 14:15
Exeter v Harlequins, 15:00
London Irish v Northampton, 15:00
Cardiff Blues v Glasgow, 18:30
Leinster v Munster, 18:30
Sunday, 7 October 2012
London Welsh v Saracens, 14:15
Wasps v Worcester, 15:00

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