We offer each of our trainees a summer bursary of up to £1,000 every year of their degree to spend on journalism work experience or a journalism project, giving them the unique opportunity to travel and explore the areas of journalism they are passionate about.

Here, second year School of Journalism trainee Andreas Shinarakis shares how he spent his bursary covering the 2022 European Championships in Munich.

When the time came to think about how I would spend the summer bursary, I immediately went online and searched for big sporting competitions happening during the summer. As an aspiring sports journalist and huge sports fan I knew what I wanted to do, I just had to choose where.

I narrowed it down to two competitions – the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the European Championships in Munich. With the help of my sports journalism tutor Graham Moody, I got in touch with Sportsbeat, who recommended applying for accreditation for the European Championships.

After a lengthy process, I got confirmation from the organisers that I would be an accredited journalist at the European Championships in Munich.

For those who might have not watched the competition this summer, the European Championships can be described as a European mini-version of the Olympics, with multiple sports coming together in one city to host their respective European Championships.

In my opinion, the main showpiece was athletics, but I was there to cover all the sports, including gymnastics, cycling and triathlon.

I packed my things for 13 days without really knowing what to expect, but I had plenty of excitement and eagerness to get to work.

The first thing I did was go to the Munich Olympic Park where most of the action was going to happen. I took my accreditation and wandered off to explore the media centre.

As I was leaving the park I came across thousands of people who were coming for the opening ceremony, a good sign for the days to come.

That night I explored a little bit of the Munich city centre, and it turned out that would be all I would see from a traveller’s standpoint during my two weeks there.

Over the first few days, I mostly covered the gymnastics team and I was able to go to the mixed zone several times to capture their reactions after winning their medals.

The second day, in particular, was hectic. I went to the Olympic Park to cover the women’s BMX freestyle competition where Olympic Champion Charlotte Worthington fell twice and finished last.

I stood in the mixed zone alongside the BBC reporters for a long time under the Munich sun, until Worthington gathered up her feelings and talked to us.

As soon as I got the quotes I ran back to catch the women’s triathlon race. I was there to interview Non Stanford as she took a surprise European Gold. Moments like these made it all worthwhile.

After the first four days, everyone turned their attention to the Olympic Stadium for the athletics competition.

As an athlete and a huge fan of the sport, I knew I would be able to work on some great moments, talk with some amazing athletes, and experience the sport like never before.

Even though it was exhausting, and sometimes I missed an important moment because I was waiting to talk to someone, I wouldn’t change a thing from what I experienced.

The voice recorder app on my phone was empty before I got to Munich. When I look at it now, I see a parade of stars and champions – Dina Asher-Smith, Keely Hodgkinson, Eilish McColgan, Zharnel Hughes and Jake Wightman among others.

Overall, I don’t think there are enough adjectives to describe what I experienced in those 13 days in Munich. This event gave me even more motivation to work harder in the future because I would love to work on something like this again.

I will never forget the ending of these championships when Germany won the women’s 4x100m relay and 70,000 fans were screaming. I stopped writing an important article for just a second to feel the goose bumps from the deafening sound of the fans, a moment I will never forget.

As I was going to Munich I was afraid there were going to be times that the fan inside me wouldn’t let me work. However, I was terribly wrong. Working on the European Championships elevated the experience a lot more.

You can read more summer bursary blogs here.

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