Julie Kissick is the course leader for the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course.
From a young age, I loved football. I’m a Swansea City fan – the ‘I bleed black and white’ type. Saturday's were always about football. My dad went to every game, home and away, and as kids my brother and I would watch the first team when they were at home and the reserves when the first team were away. When we were a bit older we’d go on a Tuesday night too. My dad helped run a youth team and I'd be responsible for bringing on the oranges at half time.
My secret dream was to become a manager of a football club, but I knew that wouldn't happen, so as I loved writing, eventually sports journalism became the obvious option. I worked as the Saturday tea girl for my local paper the South Wales Evening Post from the age of 14, progressing to a runner and copy taker eventually on the Sporting, which was the sports paper carrying reports and results. After University, I got an indentured traineeship on the paper, which started my career as a journalist.
Unfortunately, in the 1990s women were discouraged from being involved in sports reporting and I wasn't allowed on the Sports Desk. I'd known the sports editor all my life, but he wouldn't let me do any time there as part of my training or after. Fortunately, it just made me more determined and when I moved to ITV I eventually got a job producing Soccer Sunday and assistant producing a rugby programme called The Front Row. I also produced a programme called Top Sport, which often had a range of sports in it, including boxing, which was a very steep learning curve!
Given the increased profile of Welsh sports and sportsmen in recent years, the sports media sector in Wales is more ready for a Sports Journalism course than ever. The location, partnerships and staff expertise we have at USW offers an attractive all-round package for prospective students.
The course will be run between USW’s Cardiff Campus, a hub for the creative industries, as well as our Sport Park in Treforest, which is home to the University's sports teams. Students will be responsible for match previews, match reports and post match interviews as well as finding stories on a regular basis.
We’ve also got very strong links with the sports media industry and the wider sports sector, so as our students progress through the three years their opportunities to work alongside professionals will increase. This course will appeal both to those who see themselves working in traditional sports journalism jobs like football reporters or cricket commentators as well as communications or social media officers and marketers for sports brands or personalities.
I'm looking forward to working with people who adopt the ‘eat, sleep, breathe sport’ mantra.