What it’s like to cover your first sporting event

I have a love hate relationship with Facebook timehop.

But this time, it was a good reminder that I covered my first major sporting event two years ago!

At the time I was working at a radio station in Beijing and I fought so hard for them to send me to the tennis in Shanghai.

I missed out on covering the F1 but my main love in life was tennis. Some two weeks later I was on a bullet train to Shanghai, very nervous and a little confused about what to expect.

10 days later I was back on that bullet train, tired, happy and in a lot of disbelief about what had just happened.

I learnt a lot about covering major events and of course time management so I thought I would put it together in a post here as part of my Working Wednesdays posts.

You will get no sleep

Although the tennis started after midday, some of the games went on so late that I was getting back to my hotel past midnight by the time that I had attended the press conferences.

And then when I was back, it was time to finish writing up my reports for the morning’s radio show. And then I had to wake up at 6am for my editor to check the report before I then read it and sent it along with soundbites to the radio station in time for the morning show at 7am.

Fourth day in, fuelled by coffee and Papa John’s

Also coffee will be your best friend.

There’s also the extra point that you get such a buzz from seeing it live and reporting on it that you can’t sleep because of the excitement (that could just be me though!).

You’ll get impostor’s syndrome

You’ll feel extremely shy especially when you recognise all of the journalists around you and the big names that they were working for.

Just remember that you are there to get the job done and you deserve to be there!

And whatever you do – ask questions, smile and try to talk to people.

Things will go wrong

My boss handed me the recording equipment without the sound connector. Yes, the one vital thing I needed for my radio report.

You’ve got to think quickly to try and get round these things even if it does mean sitting right at the front and waving your video recorder in the air to get the best sound.

Always have back-ups, record sound, take notes, do everything you can to make it as easy as possible to do your work.

At the end you’ll feel both relieved and amazed

When you finally get to the end, you’ll be relieved that you can actually take a break and amazed at what you’ve just seen.

Take some photos, write down what your best memories and enjoy the experience of your first sporting event.

There’s nothing quite like it!

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