Luton student gets press pass to cover Euro 2020 finals
A budding sports reporter from Luton has landed the opportunity of a lifetime to cover the Euro 2020 finals next summer.
Marvin Onumonu, a Multimedia Sports Journalism student at the University of Northampton, has a guaranteed media role at UEFA’s showpiece men’s tournament, which will be staged in 12 European cities, including London.
Arsenal fan Marvin could be reporting on England matches and interviewing the cream of international football during the competition, after securing a place on a sports journalism mentorship programme that’s sponsored by the Mayor of London.
Run by the Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS), the Diversity of the Sports Media programme aims to increase the diversity in sports media by mentoring around 40 aspiring journalists, aged 18-25, from groups currently underrepresented in the industry: BAME, LGBT+, people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Marvin, who comes from Luton, said: "This is an amazing opportunity for me to take my career to the next step.
“We have a trip already organised to visit the BBC in London to shadow their sports team and are meeting some influential people in the industry, so the experience is invaluable.”
“I think it’s still the case that there are not enough BAME journalists working in sport, and hopefully this programme will help to open up doors for myself and the others on the programme."
Marvin is taking part in 10 masterclasses in the lead up to Euro 2020, where he will refine practical sports journalism skills such as writing, commentary, photography, match reports and interviewing, as well as building up a network of industry contacts.
Leon Mann, founder of BCOMS and a former BBC and ITV sports broadcaster, said: “It is vital we challenge the glaring under representation of groups that bring greater diversity to the sports media. A diverse sports media, is a better sports media.”
The lack of diversity in the sports media industry has been brought into stark focus by research carried out by BCOMS in 2018.
This found that of the 63 sports journalists sent by the mainstream national press to the World Cup in Russia, there was only one black sports writer and three women.
There were no BAME women accredited for national UK press at the tournament.
Mr Mann added: “Ultimately, a sports media lacking diversity does not fulfil its potential and lacks the competence to deliver a high-quality service.”