We offer each of our trainees a summer bursary of up to £1,000 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 trainee Will Evans tells us about how he spent his summer bursary filming a sports documentary. 

Having followed football ever since I was a child, becoming a sports journalist has been my passion for a long time.

When I joined The School of Journalism, the opportunity to receive a summer bursary and pursue this passion was a huge plus.

I started my studies in September 2020 in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 has affected football greatly and I knew that I wanted to explore the wider impact it has had on the game.


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With this in mind, I decided to produce a short news-style sports documentary looking at the impact the crisis has had on clubs from top to bottom. And with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament taking place in London, it fitted perfectly.

My idea was to go to London and speak to local non-league club Harrow Borough FC based just a few miles from Wembley Stadium, where the England national team would be playing most of their games during the Euros.

I went and spoke with the chairman and volunteers who run the club. They showed around and told how they had to adapt their facilities to comply with social distancing restrictions in place at the time.

I spoke to sports journalist and News Associates trainee Chris Byfield. We previewed England’s chances at Euro 2020 and discussed the challenges students and journalists have faced throughout the pandemic.

Will Evans interviewing Chris Byfield in front of Tower Bridge, London.

Will Evans and Chris Byfields discussing the impact of Covid-19 on the Euros and the journalism industry. Credit: Will Evans

I was lucky enough to time my trip so that I would be in London for the opening weekend of the tournament. I sampled the atmosphere at Wembley Stadium ahead of England’s opening game against Croatia, got some great footage of fans and also visited the UEFA fan village at Potters Field Park.

All of this made great B-roll for the piece and really added that professional touch.

Having filmed the majority of the interviews, in order to piece them together I recorded several pieces to camera explaining the purpose of the piece.

There were challenges in terms of deciding what to include in the script and making sure I spoke as clear as possible. I got there in the end and it was a great experience.

England fans outside Wembley stadium at the Euros 2020. Credit: Will Evans

Overall I learnt a huge amount throughout, during the planning, production and post-production part of the sports documentary project.

I edited the footage using Adobe Premiere Pro and despite having prior knowledge of this software it was great to discover new features that helped improve the footage.

If I were to produce something similar again I think I would follow a more concise plan and have a more joined-up approach. Whilst I got some really good footage I feel I could’ve maybe explored more angles of the story and captured more to make the piece longer.

Do you dream of filming your own sports documentary? Travelling the world and writing about different cultures? Taking a deep dive into your local area and reporting on community stories? In journalism, the possibilities are endless.

Click here to join our free taster events to experience what it’s like to be a journalist and study on our BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism degree.