How to become a sports broadcaster.
So…how does one become a sports broadcaster?
Two years ago I set out to answer that question for myself equipped with nothing more than my hopes, dreams, and a carefully constructed resume. I knew my end goal, and was determined to reach it by any means necessary. It’s why they call me the honey badger*.
One summer day after coaching seven hours at the UBC Tennis Centre, I nestled my resume folder under my arm and headed across campus to the War Memorial Gym. My plan was to wander the halls of the Athletics Department searching for someone, anyone, to read and listen to what I had to offer. I would take any role they would give me, knowing the importance of just getting my foot in the door. A few doorways down, I noticed the familiar face of Dan Elliott. His face was recognizable to me — an avid sports media fan — after recently seeing him on Gillette Drafted. Unprompted, I poked my head into his office to share my praise of his work both on the Score Television Network reality show and as a WHL hockey broadcaster for the Vancouver Giants. He invited me in to sit, chat, and was genuinely interested in hearing my career objectives.
Moments later, I left his office armed with a hastily scrawled post-it note detailing my new job description. Dan offered me a position as writer and host of a weekly sports highlight show and I couldn’t be more thrilled to dive headfirst into the new endeavour. In the work that followed soon afterward, I gained valuable experience in writing and announcing — as well as puck-dodging while doing a stand-up on the hockey bench during practice. Hey, I was an easy target and the guys wanted to test my boundaries. It’s part of the job.
One situation I wasn’t quite prepared for was my first on-camera interview. I was given ten minutes notice, had never held a shotgun microphone before, and was standing outside in a milky fog bank. It was awesome. That was one of the first moments I truly accepted the fact that medical school was no longer the career path for me, and I was going to take what I wanted. A job as a sports broadcaster.
*no one actually calls me that