From Wimbledon to Wembley: award-winner reports on Cowboys v Jaguars

Peter ThompsonNCTJ award-winner and former News Associates (London) student Peter Thompson graduates from Wimbledon to Wembley to cover the Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys.

Since completing my NCTJ I have been match reporting part-time in the Football League and it’s definitely something I would like to do as a full-time career.

But I never thought I would get the chance to cover an event at Wembley so soon after finishing my course, so I was shocked to hear I had won the opportunity to go to the NFL International Series this year.

It was a brilliant experience from start to finish. The press facilities were like nothing I had seen before, despite working at Twickenham during my NCTJ work experience with Sportsbeat.

I had my own desk, personal replay monitor, good food, the best seats in the house and leg room I could only dream of during my most frequent assignment over the last two seasons – AFC Wimbledon in League Two.

The organisation and attention to detail in the press room really made my life easy. Regular statistical reports were delivered to my seat, full transcripts of the press conferences were quickly handed out after the coaches and players had been interviewed and, of course, there was consistently working wifi.

Still, all the skills I learnt at News Associates and Sportsbeat during my NCTJ also proved to be really important, particularly because the NFL is far from being my area of expertise.

The amount of practical experience I got on my course covering a range of sports, from football, rugby and tennis to athletics, horse racing and even floor hockey, more than prepared me to report on a game I was less familiar with.

It was my second time at an NFL game in London after I went last season and the atmosphere was even better this time around. It was amazing to watch it from the Wembley press box and hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to report from there again.

Read Peter’s match report here.