With ever increasing media attention and coverage, Professional Cricket demands that players be media savvy and confident when communicating with the media so that they can best promote themselves and their sport. Therefore, this winter as part of WCCC Academy players’ preparation for the professional game the PCA Personal Development and Welfare programme provided players with advice and training to develop confidence and communication skills in this area.
On March 19th, Academy players were given the opportunity to put this training into practice as they were visited at New Road by 2nd year Journalism degree students and staff from the University of Worcester (UW), and challenged to undertake a mock press conference and then complete a series of follow up individual interviews. With 22 students present, there was no hiding place with all players being asked questions from the floor. The UW students were also under pressure to perform as they had to ensure they got the best content and footage possible to enable them to go away and produce both written and radio or TV pieces as part of a module assessment. The students rose to the challenge and were very professional, engaging well with the players and putting them at ease.
When asked how the Academy players performed in front of the camera, Journalism Single Honours Course Leader Rachel Ammonds said: “The day was a great success, enjoyed by all of our students, and I'd like to thank WCC for inviting us to be a part of the event. This kind of collaboration gives students invaluable experience in interviewing and thinking on their feet, which should equip them well for careers in journalism. It's important for them to work in 'real life' situations such as press conferences like this to improve their confidence and practise the skills they are learning in the classroom.”
Academy player Alex Milton said, “Learning what it would be like to be in an actual conference and also getting used to having either a microphone or a camera pointing at you was a brilliant experience. Overall it was a great day.”
Academy Director, Damian D’Oliveira, was also really pleased with the day. “My thanks go to Rachel and Students at UW for their help and contribution to the media day held at New Road with our Academy players. It is certainly becoming a more and more important part of a cricketer’s life and we have done little in the past to train and advise young players on ways to handle these sorts of situations. I know the players found it very informative and beneficial and we hope the students in their 2nd year of their Journalist Course found the event equally rewarding. We certainly look forward to developing our relationship with UW to help educate up and coming professional cricketers in the future.”