A group of Football Journalism students from the University of Derby got to watch the Lionesses make history after being given the opportunity to report on the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Football Championship.
Eleven students travelled up and down the country and worked alongside professionals to cover the tournament, which ran from 6-31 July, with two of the students able to report on the intense final in real time from Wembley Stadium.
Derby was the only university to receive media accreditation from UEFA to report on the Championship due to the long-standing relationship with the European football governing body and a proven track record of reporting and promoting women’s football.
Commenting on the opportunity, Football Journalism Senior Lecturer Peter Lansley said:
“The Women’s Euros has been the biggest, highest-profile event of the five tournaments Football Journalism has covered since we kicked off the course in 2016. UEFA accredited us because of our commitment to redressing the gender imbalance within the industry. We seek to shape the hearts and minds of the next generation of football journalists to be open and welcoming of diversity on the field and also in the press box.
“One of the aims of the University is to help as many women journalists as possible enjoy studying and we believe the course will give more women the platform they need to develop into the world of sports journalism as it’s real-world, industry-led learning, where the students learn to work alongside the elite of their profession, creating digital and written content from out in the field. The adventure creates memories for life, and top-class football journalists for the business.”
Over the month, the students reported from the Lionesses’ base at Lensbury Resort in Twickenham, wrote match reports for Football London, match ratings for the Guardian and interviewed several players including Sarina Wiegman about the significance of the Lionesses’ victory.
Juliet Nottingham was one of the students who reported on the final from Wembley Stadium. She said:
“For the experience and opportunities, the trip was life-changing. Travelling up and down the country with such a good and supportive group of people made producing a wide range of content so rewarding and enjoyable. Being on the job and being in the thick of the media in training camps, conferences and games was the best way to learn how things work day-to-day. Producing to deadlines, coordinating content as well as it being published was really exciting.
“Personally, to be in the press boxes at stadiums including Wembley for the final was surreal, and there were so many moments I will never forget.”
Megan Garbutt was also part of the group of students who covered the games: “Working at the Women’s Euros in the capacity that we did, is something I never dreamt of doing after finishing my second year. From being in press boxes, to attending training camps and interviewing star players of the women’s games, I learnt so many valuable lessons about working in such a competitive industry, and it has really cemented why I chose this as my career path. These are experiences that will live with me forever.”
The University of Derby has the UK’s only undergraduate Football Journalism degree course and offers a clear path to working in the football industry.
Find out more about studying Football Journalism at the University of Derby.