The face of a journalism student at City of Wolverhampton College has been beamed into homes across the country.
James Vukmirovic, studying the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, has been working as a touchline reporter for the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) whose games are live on the BBC website, BBC apps and BBC red button.
Just two months into his course, James will be pitch side reporter at the 2018 European Championship game between Wales and Ireland in Wrexham at 3pm on Sunday (November 11).
It follows his debut as a lead commentator for the France v Wales game on October 26 and a successful pitch side reporter role during Scotland v Wales at Galashiels on November 2.
James said: “I was very nervous about it when I was first on air but did plenty of preparation.
“I have built up my journalism skills by doing voluntary roles for a number of years so had a lot to draw on and luckily it is a subject I know very well and am interested in.
“It is a great opportunity and something I relished, I feel I am improving each time and, combined with my studies, I will do everything I can to build up my career.”
The opportunity came about as James has been volunteering for the RLEF for 10 years as webmaster and taking on other roles such as writing match reports, acting as media manager and even stadium announcer during a tournament in Serbia this summer.
It was following this tournament that he was offered the current role by RLEF officials impressed with his work in Serbia.
Despite a 15-year career in IT and data administration, James took the plunge to follow his dream of being a journalist and signed up to the award-winning course at the college in September.
Course leader Dani Wozencroft said:
“James has a clear career aim and is doing everything he can to reach it.
“This qualification will be the ticket he needs to become the journalist he wants to be and his work so far has been a very high standard.
“He clearly has a lot of desire, completing jobs like this outside of college time, and is already making a good impression on those in the industry as they trust him enough to do live broadcasts without experience in that.
“I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more of him in the rugby world.”
The one-year full-time Level 3 diploma has been named the best performing NCTJ further education college in the UK for seven consecutive years. This year’s winner will be announced later this month – just weeks after it was confirmed every single student who did the course last academic year now has a job in the journalism industry.
The college has been accredited by the NCTJ since 1997 and is the only accredited further education journalism training centre in the Midlands. It is also helping to train the BBC’s radio apprentices across the country as well as working with the Express & Star on its journalism apprenticeship scheme.