Just six months into his NCTJ Diploma, Jack Figg would not have believed he would be doing an exclusive interview with one of Britain’s most sought after professional boxers, two weeks shy of the biggest fight of his career.
It all started for me aged just eight as I developed a skill for writing and a passion for sports. When my dad suggested becoming a professional sports writer my dream of becoming a sports journalist was born.
Throughout my education, every subject I studied was aimed at helping me become a journalist. I started studying at Brighton Journalist Works in September 2017, the final stop on the way to my dream career.
The skills I learned from all my tutors were second to none and within weeks I was confident enough to begin writing articles for publication. Fast forward four months and I began work experience with my local newspaper.
There I have gained a massive amount of experience in a short while, reporting on sport across the board. However, my biggest breakthrough was yet to come.
I interviewed a local professional boxer for my paper and he was really grateful that I had contacted him to do a story on his next fight. That’s when it struck me that running stories on sports people really works on both sides of the coin – I have a great story for publication, and they great exposure.
This gave me the audacious idea of emailing Brighton’s Chris Eubank Junior to enquire about an exclusive interview ahead of his upcoming fight and his life in the city. What seemed like a shot in the dark became reality within a week.
After some negotiation and discussion I got my exclusive interview with one of Britain’s world champion boxers. The experience was both surreal and invaluable.
I was lucky enough to do the interview at Brighton Journalist Works, where I spoke to Chris for 45 minutes discussing everything about his career. To be sitting opposite someone I would have only dreamed of interviewing six months ago was indescribable and made me realise my aspirations of being a boxing correspondent were already on the way to becoming reality.
The interview was a success and I had the exclusive published as a double page spread in three papers.
I was nervous throughout the days leading up to it but as soon as it got underway I really felt at home and that this was something I would be doing for a long time.
Huge thanks go to everyone at Brighton Journalist Works for allowing me to conduct the interview at Vantage Point, but more importantly ‘thank you’ for the excellent support and teaching I have received since starting in September.
When I began the course I didn’t have the knowledge to even lay out an article, but now, thanks to everyone at BJW, I feel confident in every aspect of reporting and I can’t thank everyone enough.
I haven’t been in the game for long – in fact I’m learning every day – but the biggest piece of advice I could give to anyone is just to go for it and put yourself out there. It is a daunting prospect at first but you will soon grow in confidence.
You just have to make your own luck, I never thought, a few months ago, I would have been sitting opposite a world champion interviewing him, but you have to be audacious and hopeful.