Archive for August, 2012

Here we go again!

Against the backdrop of the end of the utterly brilliant London 2012 Olympics we begin winding up for the domestic rugby union campign this weekend as many clubs begin their pre-season fixtures in earnest.

I will be at the Mennaye Field in Penzance to watch the Cornish Pirates take on Loughborough Students in their first ever meeting. It`s hardly a big box office draw but for us journos who will ply our trade across the length and breadth of the land in the coming months following the fortunes of a particular team, it is important preparation.

For me the first full radio match commentary will be on September 1st when the Championship season gets underway and the Cornish Pirates travel to Jersey. Until then I have got three games to memorise the playing profiles of the new players, recognise them in an instant, pick up on their playing style and personal idiosyncrasies, and watch for tactical changes in the way the team plays.

There will also be the need to pop down to training sessions, chat to the squad members and coaches and then start mugging-up on the opponents for what could be anything up to ten months of non-stop rugby.

I suppose if you are a full-time professional working for a major network or media organisation this, coupled with all the travelling, is more than enough work for one person. But like so many other people on the circuit this isn`t my only job and by the time we reach October working seven days a week and anything up to 14 hours a day will be the norm.

Getting rich doesn`t go with the turf either but do you know what? I`m not complaining, honest. True, I have never been so tired as on that last morning in May when I drove back to Cornwall after the Championship final in Oxford but if it was all that bad I would have stopped ages ago.

Looking at the sacrifices made by our Olympians puts everything into perspective because nothing worth achieving in life is easy. When athletes tire and hurt they work harder and push through to reach their goal. A lesson applicable to so much.

There are targets I still want to hit even though I have been incredibly fortunate to be handed a top rugby team to cover by the guys at Cornwall & Devon Media and a commentator`s microphone by the BBC. But that is up to me. I have never been one to expect favours.

The great thing about being a sports journalist is that whilst you may be very comfortable in doing your own job you never quite know what you will witness on and off the field once the season gets underway. Therein lies the real challenge.

So as the athletes gear up for their sporting challenges I, along with an army of scribes up and down the country, will be steeling ourselves for late nights, long days, high drama and thousands of motorway miles in the pursuit of success.

Here we go again then, and do you know what? I can`t wait!


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