A former student from Stratford-upon-Avon College is fast making a name for himself in the exciting world of sports journalism.
Chris Elliot from Blockley, in Gloucestershire, studied Creative Media at the College, graduating in 2017. Inspired by one of his second year lecturers who has extensive experience as a sports journalist, Chris decided to pursue the career himself and is now studying Sport Journalism at Solent University, covering everything from radio and TV to writing. Determined to succeed in his dream job as soon as possible, he also takes on freelance assignments from news agencies reporting from sporting events nationwide and in his spare time writes for several websites.
Although Chris has an interest in a variety of sports (he has covered the Yonex All England Badminton Tournament, “the badminton equivalent of Wimbledon”, for example, and hopes to be given the opportunity to cover athletics events), he specialises in reporting on his favourite sport – tennis.
During his time at university, Chris has reported on two major tennis events and interviewed a number of the top players in the sport: an International Tennis Federation tournament – “the highlight was interviewing Kirsten Flipkens” – and more recently the Women’s Tennis Association Birmingham Classic tournament, which he covered for the website Vavel USA and where he interviewed players including the winner Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka and current British number one Johanna Konta.
Having reported on sporting events for two years, Chris feels he has a firm understanding of what makes a good sports journalist. “It is important to be a good writer, but, more importantly, you need to be a good communicator who can bring out the best in sport personalities.
“Good knowledge about the sport you’re covering is also useful as you can shed light on topics the average viewer or reader won’t know about.”
Reflecting on his time at the College, Chris feels that the training he received was crucial to his current achievements. “The College helped me to appreciate media in general, and inspired me to pursue journalism. The lecturers were brilliant and encouraged me to go to university and study journalism.”
And what’s next for Chris following graduation from university? Although in the long term he is interested in heading up media teams at sports events, he’s certainly not finished with freelance journalism.
“I still want to tick off other major events, for example Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, and the Olympics. Believe me, I’m not done yet!”