Sport presenter gives ‘inspiring’ talk to students

Clare Balding and Jed Novick
Clare Balding and Jed Novick

TV presenter Clare Balding came to Eastbourne last week with some invaluable advice for budding sports journalists in the town.

In a packed lecture theatre at the University’s of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus on Denton Road, the writer and broadcaster said prep was absolutely essential and told students to “do your homework”.

She added, “The foundation of your knowledge is the one thing you will fall or grow by.

“If you don’t know what you’re are talking about or what you’re watching, you will not be able to interpret properly or ask the right questions.”

“Don’t ever go to anything unprepared.

“You have got to at least have a basic understanding of what it is you are there for, who you are talking to, what you are watching.”

Clare was this year’s guest at the Annual Sport Journalism Lecture on Thursday, April 23.

She was described by course leader Jed Novick as a “bona fide national treasure” and student Charlie Eustice as “nothing short of superb, with really infectious enthusiasm and some golden advice”.

Clare entertained the full house with anecdotes and words of advice, as well as showing clips from her BBC TV series The Clare Balding Show. She added, “Homework is hugely important. I think passion is really important as well. You have got to care. You have got to love it. Be bold enough to have your own voice and take a few risks.”

Clare pinpointed the 2012 Olympics as the highlight of her presenting career and when questioned about sexism in sports journalism, she said, “The next barrier is commentary – and more female commentators.”