A behind the scenes guide to studying at News Associates: My first month as a sports journalism trainee

From being thrown in at the deep end with Ryder Cup coverage to the cricket being rained off twice, our sports journalism trainees have had a roller coaster of a first month with us.

We love catching up with our journalism trainees as they undertake their NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism at News Associates – officially the UK’s number one NCTJ school.

Already know it’s the career for you? Apply now to study on our fast-track, part-time or sports journalism course.

Here, News Associates journalism trainee Kishan Vaghela tells us how he’s found the first four weeks of his course

“My first month on the News Associates sports journalism course has flown by and I don’t think I have ever taken part in something that has varied so much from one day to the next.

On the first day we were told the sports journalism course would be a challenging but rewarding experience – I just did not expect for that challenge to arrive in the second week when we were set the task of producing our first South West Londoner e-zine on the Ryder Cup.

I had very little experience writing about golf before this, but I used my French language skills to fashion copy I was proud of on Le Golf National course.

None of that would have been possible without our fantastic editors and tutors, but it also demonstrated to me how to write copy on something that you would not consider one of your main strengths.

I had a day less than most of the group to write my copy due to a charity wheelchair basketball event I got to attend in Stratford – however, it provided me with arguably my favourite moment of the course so far.

As sports journalists we are so often attracted to the big events that we forget the outstanding work charities do within sport, and Path to Success’ contribution is no different as they support women in disability sport who are looking to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I was fortunate enough to meet one such athlete and the founder of the charity and the interviews were eye-opening.

Having initially tested myself with tasks that had previously been alien to me, I reverted back to something I thought I would be a little at easier, in the form of rugby union coverage.

However, my excitement was mixed with a bundle of nerves when I found out I would be covering Saracens vs Bath in the Gallagher Premiership as my first match report for Sportsbeat.

I was determined for the magnitude of the game not to overawe me and I learnt so much on the day in terms of collecting quotes and probing questions that I now feel confident to cover whatever is thrown at me, and only that unique opportunity could have provided me with that.

On top of all of that, I have learnt the importance of tight writing. Perfecting that and becoming concise is just one of the many challenges I will face over the next few months, but I am sure the rewards will arrive slowly but surely as I continue to learn about this multifaceted industry.”

Follow in Kishan’s footsteps and apply for our NCTJ sports journalism course now.