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Vicki Sparks made history with her commentary at the 2018 Fifa World Cup

Do you have a passion for sport and like talking about it or describing the action?

If that’s you, you should enter the search for the next generation of commentators via the BBC Sport’s New Voices scheme.

We are looking for two new commentators to join our freelance pool.

Our successful internal scheme has produced the likes of Vicki Sparks, who this summer became the first woman to commentate on our World Cup TV coverage, and Chris Latchem, who has had recent golf and boxing stints behind the microphone.

Now BBC Sport is offering this training opportunity to sports fans in the UK.

‘I doubted myself but I’m really glad I applied’ – Vicki Sparks’ story

“Go on – you should apply for this!”

“Really,” I thought to myself, as I read the email from my colleague. “I’m a total novice at commentary. I don’t even know if I’m any good at it. What if I mess it up?”

That was just over four years ago – and, thankfully for me, my colleague prevailed. I applied for the BBC’s new commentator training programme, having only commentated on one match in my life for local radio.

To my great surprise, I was accepted and, without realising it, I’d taken a vital step on my journey to becoming a professional commentator.

Being part of a scheme like this is great because it allows you to hone your skills in a supportive environment, while receiving the benefit of top-class training and feedback.

It allows you to experiment with different ways of doing things; to find your commentary voice; to make mistakes, and learn from them. And it’s the best way to find out if you truly love commentating.

Before starting, I really didn’t know the answer to that question – but as Rachel Williams put Chelsea Ladies 1-0 up after just 37 seconds of my first commentary, I suddenly realised – I can do this. And I love it.

Four years on and this summer I took another massive stride in my career as I became the first woman to commentate on a televised World Cup match which was Portugal v Morocco.

So, if you love talking about sport, and wish you could do it as a career; if you listen to the radio or TV and find yourself completely swept up in dramatic commentary moments; if you’ve ever turned the sound off and pretended that you’re the one describing the action, then this scheme is probably made for you.

You don’t have to be the finished article, as I certainly wasn’t. You might not even feel as if you have the confidence to do it as I nearly didn’t.

But, trust me – all you need at first is to be passionate about sport, and want to describe it to other people. That’s what I started out with – and I’ve loved the journey I’ve been on since then.

How to apply

If you would like to be considered for the BBC Sport New Voices scheme then please send the following to shadiya.omar@bbc.co.uk

1) A minute of your commentary on any sport which includes a goal, try, point, basket etc

2) A piece to camera telling us why you want to be a commentator

3) Two paragraphs telling us what experience you have had commentating, and add your name, address, mobile and email details.

Applicants need to be UK and Ireland residents, and aged 16 of above.

The closing date is 23 August 2018 and entrants will be notified by 28 August if they have been successful in getting to the next stage. That will involve a shortlisting afternoon on 4 September, at the BBC in MediaCity, Salford Quays, M50 2QH.

We are aiming to make two places available for the BBC Sport New Voices scheme. Training will be provided and once up to speed the successful candidates will join our freelance pool of commentators.

The BBC is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information – all personal information provided will be stored securely and deleted by 30 September 2018.

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