Sky Sports star, Manchester United TV and a host of women at the top of their game – sports media conference attracts the best in the business

Date 15.02.2018

A Sky Sports star, a BBC football commentator, Wales’ top goal scorer and pioneering sports journalists joined Northamptonshire’s leading female sports media industry professionals at a University of Northampton event – and the action was caught on camera by Manchester United TV.

The Changing Futures For Women In Sports Media conference saw a host of speakers pass on their advice, with the aim of encouraging the next generation of women wanting to work in the industry.

Headlining the event were Sky Sports’ presenter, Hayley McQueen, broadcaster Lynsey Hooper and Women’s Super League journalist Kait Borsay, who create the award-winning The Offside Rule podcast.

Watch a video interview with Hayley McQueen below, in which she reveals what it was like to interview Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and tells us when she thinks female football coaches and managers will break into the men’s professional game.

Students from the University and pupils from county schools were also able to take part in masterclasses with journalist Vikki Orvice, BBC football commentator Robyn Cowen and Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper sports photographer, Kirsty Edmonds.

Pioneering sports journalist, Jen O’Neill, who founded She Kicks women’s football magazine, also appeared, and said: “From start to finish it was a thoroughly positive, thought-provoking and inspiring programme of discussions and presentations that championed the progress that women are making in sport – from those just starting out in their careers, to those that are established forces, faces, voices and stars within their fields.

“I think as the feisty and funny women from the Offside Rule Podcast explained well, gender really isn’t the barrier to entry into sports journalism that it once may have been. Knowledge, passion, flexibility, hard work, spotting a niche and maybe the odd bit of bravery or good fortune are much more important than whether you are male or female, when it comes to breaking into the industry now. It’s competitive and it may not be an easy win but it’s all to play for, so shoot for your goals.”

Northamptonshire was well represented at the event, which took place on Thursday 8 February, with Northampton Town FC marketing and events coordinator, Charlotte Hyams, joining Saints marketing manager, Laura Tringham, Northants CCC marketing manager, Ellie Emerson and BBC Radio Northampton sports presenter Caroline Densley for a panel discussion.

County TT motorcycle racer, Maria Costello MBE, also appeared, along with Wales’ current top international goalscorer, Helen Ward.

The event was opened with a keynote speech from Northampton journalism undergraduate, Dayna Richman, who talked about her internship in Aston Villa’s press and marketing department and working as a football statistician for sports analytics company, Opta.