I have just finished my First Year as a Sports Journalism student at Leeds Trinity University and was lucky enough to be involved in the final of Euro 2020 as a reporter, covering the biggest match England has been part of in over 50 years.
One of the most common questions I’ve had since is how this opportunity came about. The honest answer for that, is that I created it for myself. I decided to go and report on the Euros final at Wembley Stadium a couple of weeks before it was scheduled to take place. Of course this meant I never knew that England would be participating in it, so it was a huge bonus when they made it to their first final since the World Cup victory in 1966.
After previously having a successful weekend reporting on the English Football League (EFL) play-off finals at the end of May, I was eager to return to Wembley for what I knew would be a huge occasion. Despite being understandably nervous, approaching this with no fear was the best thing I did, and it paid off.
The Journalism department at Leeds Trinity was fantastic in supporting me pursuing this; the lecturers were very encouraging from the beginning and willingly shared my content throughout the weekend. Media Services were also excellent and provided me with the suitable equipment to have this experience, without which I would not have been able to achieve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Not many people would have ever predicted that England would make it to a major final, so to witness it at Wembley was truly indescribable. The atmosphere was something I have never experienced before and despite it being overwhelming at times, seeing thousands of fans singing Sweet Caroline on Wembley Way was certainly something to remember. Despite the English and Italian fans knowing I was a student and fairly inexperienced on reporting at events of this magnitude, they were all very respectful and made me feel comfortable approaching them.
To report at Wembley at this early stage in my journalism career felt surreal. I would even say that it made me believe anything is possible and no matter how daunting some things sound, you should always give it a try.
The support I received from my friends and family was also excellent which helped me through the nerves.
Being around so many people who were in good spirits was great to see and made the experience even more worthwhile.
With the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, doing something like this after such a long time of not being able to made it feel that little bit more special.
The main thing I took away from this was how it has made me feel comfortable for reporting on big sporting events in my future career. It is an experience I will always look back on with great memories and hopefully, it was the first of many on this scale.
Samuel Wright is a Sports Journalism student at Leeds Trinity University and his report from Wembley Way at the final of Euro 2020 can be viewed on YouTube.
Find out more about undergraduate degree programmes in Journalism at Leeds Trinity University.
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