When I’m interviewing athletes in future, remind me not to discuss anything to do with popular culture #joblogs

I’m not sure it’s hugely professional to jump every time the starter gun goes off while in the press box; equally, shimmying my shoulders to Beyonce’s booming Single Ladies, is possibly frowned upon, but this is no ordinary sports blog.

I’m at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield – facilities that house enough London Olympic medalists to put it ahead of Spain and Brazil in the 2012 medal table – blogging on the UK Championships, an indoor athletics competition which doubles as the European trials for the March 1-3 event taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Unbelievably, the sound system actually enables the crowd to hear what the announcer is saying yet I wasn’t entirely sure this was helpful for the athletes. So I queried Team GB’s Beijing 400m gold medalist and London 2012 silver medalist, Christine Ohuruogu, on whether she could hear the announcer during her 60m qualifying race.


On heading back to the press gantry after videoing Christine I was rather embarrassed to see a selection of holiday snaps gliding their way across my laptop screen saver. I kind of looked cool surfing but wearing the bunny ears, not so much.

Back in the video mixed zone, I got some odd looks from fellow journos as I avoided the athletes and instead interviewed one of the kit-carrying kids. There was a point to this. Pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale had taken part in a Q&A session at one of the local Sheffield primary schools and one of the pupils, Owen, had been selected to grill the London Olympic athlete so I was doing some follow-up footage. On recognising me from the school, his face glowed as he said, “Did you see her? Did you see Holly? She was brilliant”.

There was huge pressure for Holly at these championships, having promised a primary school full of kids the previous day that she would retain the UK championship for the third consecutive year. Luckily, Holly’s Olympic experience stood her in good stead enabling her to win the competition with a vault of 4.77m, well short of the 6m 10-year-old Owen had predicted, but satisfying for the 21-year-old nevertheless.

Meanwhile, the knowledgable crowd were taking to Twitter to share their thoughts on the unbelievable skill taking place in front of him, as athletes stretched every sinew to compete to their highest possible level.

British Athletics took to doing their bit to get people to exercise more following a few technical issues with the live stream.

Later, a slightly more contrite,

And then, from another tweeter, a positively celebratory,

Shortly before interviewing heptathlete Louise Hazel I checked her Twitter feed to see if there were any gems on which I could follow up. Seemed to be a fan of TV programme Take Me Out even suggesting they should do an athlete’s version, so I framed a question accordingly – or so I thought: “Who would you have to dinner and what would you cook?”

Luckily, prior to the interview I asked another journo, “Is Take Me Out that programme where people make dinner for each other?” He looked at me quizzically. Well, I don’t watch anything but sport (except a secret hankering for Bondi Rescue and Total Wipeout) – and I got mixed up with Come Dine With Me. Disaster averted on that front but Louise instead said something to which I initially thought she was joking:

Finally, if you’re going to get your wires spectacularly crossed with someone, may as well be the new British Athletics head coach, Peter Eriksson.

Click here to see all Sports Liberated video interviews from the trials, including:
British Athletics’ head coach, Peter Eriksson, highlighting top women’s performances at the trial
Christine Ohuruogu causing a bit of a flutter
Heptathlete Louise Hazel on post-Olympic thoughts
Margaret Adeoye on getting round in one piece
Yamile Aldama’s one track mind

If you want proper in-depth reporting from the trials go to:
British Athletics – official site
VincoSport – “Watch Athletics, read Athletics, write about Athletics.”
Remember the Name – “Purveyor of all things elite youth sport.”
Nuffin’Long TV – “Bridging The Gap For True Sports, Fashion and Entertainment News.”


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    • Hi Bennie. Thanks for your nice comments. I did it myself using WordPress. There are some really simple templates to use but you can go a bit more fancy, like I did with this, if you like. The theme I used is a paid for one (about US$70, I think) called Lifestyle. There are free ones too. Hope that helps. Good luck!

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