What I learned covering sports this year

Assistant Sports Editor reflects on past season

Claire McKellar driving to the net.
Claire McKellar driving to the net.
Photo: 

When I first got the news that I had gotten the job as Assistant Sports Editor back in April 2016, I was overjoyed. I couldn’t wait to write about different sports that I loved, get my stories published and pick up new skills along the way. 

Little did I know that the most significant part of my job would have absolutely nothing to do with writing, but instead with the simple interactions I had with the players. 

Writing for Sports gave me the opportunity to be at the epicenter of passion at Queen’s. I had the privilege of watching teams come together and develop over their seasons. Watching a team go from those first few games to competing in the national championships gives a wonderful feeling of completeness to a story. 

I was able to watch as teammates worked together and made magic happen on the ice, court or pitch. Seeing those two or three players on each team figure out what it took to click with each other and make plays happen was incredible. 

I cheered equally as hard when the teams’ stars lead their teammates to victory as I did when the younger players were able to have their moment and step into the limelight, scoring their first goal or making their first big hit. 

I learned more about the individual players off the court with each interview. They were thoughtful, kind and engaged. They cared about their teammates, their community and their sport. 

They spent a large portion of their lives training for the games that 650 words could only scratch the surface with. I met Olympic hopefuls, national champions and nervous rookies. They all had unique stories to tell that made their drive in the game even more awe evoking. 

They cared about mental health awareness and fundraising for the Run for the Cure and above all, they all shared one essential characteristic: passion. 

Watching the heartbreak of tough losses or the all-encompassing joy of big wins has been a complete privilege this year. Watching players develop over seasons has helped me grow along with them. 

They have been welcoming to me and generous with their time. They helped me to become a better writer and to learn more about my school. 

I will forever cherish what I’ve learned from each player and program and will always be grateful for their acceptance of me, though at times it’s been difficult as a female sports writer in a male-dominated field. 

It was a fantastic year for sports at Queen’s, and I look forward to watching what these players do in the future.  

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