Remember that I told you I was going down to Franklin’s Gardens to spend a match shadowing the Northampton Saints Communications Manager Chris? Well I went down a few weeks ago to watch Saints v Wasps but most importantly, to observe how Chris interacted with the media.
The game was covered by ESPN so there was plenty of media interaction to be shadowed and I did just that. I met Chris in the afternoon and discovered a little more about his day to day job. Before I knew it, it was all hands on deck as there was a pressing technical issue between ESPN, the TV production company Sunset+Vine and Premiership Rugby. Unfortunate as the issue was, only two hours before kick off, it provided an excellent opportunity to rub shoulders with those in the know.
I’m only partially joking when I say that I adopted my most cool and mysterious of personas to effortlessly WOW anyone I met. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression and I wanted to observe they worked but also stand out positively in the minds of some potentially influential people.
Thanks to Chris I got the email address for a contact in Sunset+Vine. Number one on my list at the moment is to email the contact about the opportunity of shadowing them or taking part in work experience. I say it’s number one on my list at the moment but it’s been there for a while now. I’m procrastinating I admit it but I keep thinking and re-thinking what to include on the email.
I’m resolved to send the email tomorrow at the last so fingers crossed that I strike the right tone. Must go easy on the desperate!
Whilst we were making the final pre-match preparations, Chris and I came across the former Leicester Tigers, Austin Healey. There was some friendly banter between the three of us as to the (un)likelihood of Wasps defeating Saints at the Gardens. I’ve no doubt that the following will have escaped Healey’s memory but it makes me smile. He slightly smugly suggested that Saints back line might struggle as James Wilson (Saints newcomer) was stepping into full back position as Ben Foden was injured and that he might lack the experience to fill the expectations of 15.
Chris corrected him saying that Wilson was a very perceptive player. We were both confident that Wasps wouldn’t beat a 7 year dry spell against the Saints but Austin continued hinting that it could be the night for that to change. My parting words weren’t especially monumental but assured that it wouldn’t chance tonight, whilst we were playing on home soil.
Five minutes into the game when Wilson rollocked over the line to score his first of two tries, I gave a smiling glance to where Healey was set commentating on the game and felt a glow of satisfaction. I’d grown up watching that guy play rugby and although it was mainly Chris’ point that had been most apt, I’d just had winning banter with him. Life was sweet!
The Red Headed Shadow becomes a writer
In addition to the exciting contacts I’d made, Chris suggested that I write a report on the match as he’s looking for a match reporter. I’m not a journalist and made sure that he was aware of the fact but it was a great opportunity and I’m nothing if not hard working, determined and stubborn, so I gave it a go. Nonchalant as that sounds, I was freaking out. Excitement mixed with blind panic and a lack of confidence in my writing, meant that a 500 word report took all weekend but it was the best I could do and I emailed it over.
It took several days and a prompt to get a response. Ok but promising was it. I pushed for feedback, hopefully something constructive that would help me to improve but he replied that it was in the style of French journalism.
If anyone knows what that means, by all means shed some light but unless it’s a way of saying rubbish, I’m taking it as a good thing. Not exactly what he was looking for but there’s potential. I can work with that. So I wrote another report the following week which is now two weeks ago. I’ll be pestering Chris again for an opportunity to discuss the reports, gain some feedback and check out the situation moving on. Ok but promising.