LBU Sports Journalism students enjoy exclusive Leeds Rhinos access
The Rhinos, who have an extensive partnership with LBU, were conducting performance testing, including DEXA scans, in the university’s state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport building in December.
They took time out to sit down for interviews and press conferences for the group of first-year students.
Taylor Umland, BA Sports Journalism Course Leader said: “What the students were doing was really practical. How often do you get the chance to interview Leeds Rhinos first team players who are also England internationals?
“They also got to interview the performance nutritionist who is in charge of making them the athletes that they are. That’s something that journalists that are out in the field would bite their arm off for and the students are being handed it in their first term of their first year.
“We only started the course this year and the students are getting to put their expertise to the world right away which is incredible.
“They performed interviews with first team players and backroom staff and we came in early to do video work of players doing the scans. They will be creating content for web, social media, video and podcasts. This content can be used in so many different ways for them to learn how to do this job.
“Leeds Beckett University is a great place to come for stories as there are so many things happening all the time. All this ground-breaking research and they get the chance to learn about it from the people that are doing it.
“I do think that this is unique that you can have such practical application in a university setting, in a place where it’s all put together for you. The Rhinos train here, we educate here. It makes sense, and when you put all the pieces together it fits together like a puzzle.
“This experience will give them employability skills, but more than that it’s confidence. Knowing that you can go up to an England international and just have a conversation.”
Dan Hawkhead, BA Sports Journalism student said: “Everyone’s been really receptive of it and helped us out with their answers and the coaches have been great.
“Working with elite sportspeople isn’t something you get to do every day. It’s really good that the Rhinos have this connection with Leeds Beckett University to be able to do this. It’s putting the skills into practice in a real world environment.
“Video interviews are a new skill, it’s good to get the experience and know what we’re doing. I’ve also developed interview skills, thinking spontaneously and building a question around what someone has just said to build the story.”
Isabella Miller, MSc Journalism student at LBU was also invited to take part. She said: “I’m interested to see how the sports journalism students angle their questions, I feel like there’s a different body language and vibe to these sort of press conferences. I want to get into health journalism, and it’s quite interesting today that the team are using the DEXA scans. Another great thing about this is that it gives us industry contacts.
“I’ve spoken to other people at different universities who study journalism, and they’re always so impressed with how practical this course is and how there’s way more opportunities. Already, I’ve been to so many events that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to if it hadn’t been for this course.
“I love my course, I’ve met some amazing people, my lecturers are so helpful and there’s endless opportunities. Even the theory modules – at first you don’t really understand why it’s important, but the course affirms why it is. Along with that, we’ve got these amazing practical opportunities.
“I’ve been published a few times now and wouldn’t have been able to if it wasn’t for Leeds Beckett.”
The Carnegie School of Sport Building boasts a wealth of outstanding facilities including dedicated research laboratories, a hypoxic laboratory, a health and wellbeing studio, a covered rooftop 60m sprint track, enhanced strength and conditioning spaces, and changing and recovery facilities.
The facility at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus is a base for the Carnegie School of Sport’s undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes and provides a hub for the elite athletes who use the university’s sports performance expertise.