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- Describe what's happening at sporting events to listeners and viewers
- Exciting role for sports fans
- You could become a studio-based presenter or move into programme making
As a sports commentator you'll commentate on anything from local football and rugby fixtures to large spectator games, competitions and events like the Olympic Games. You'll specialise in just one sport or cover a number of different ones.
You'll keep your audience engaged by commentating with excitement, enthusiasm and passion. For radio, you'll need to 'say what you see' and paint a picture of what's happening for listeners. You'll need to stay impartial and give balanced commentary.
- Preparing for an event by researching clubs or players
- Working with a production team
- Taking direction from a producer
- Interviewing sports professionals
- Commentating on events before, during and after the fixture
- Working with experts who give their opinion or statistics
- Updating your website, blog or social media feed
Your working week may be long and irregular. You'll make live or recorded commentaries at sporting events, which can take place during the day, in the evening or at the weekend. Your environment will depend on the kind of event you're commentating on. You may be working outdoors in all weathers or in indoor arenas and you could travel around the UK or overseas.
This role would be ideal for someone with a love of sport with excellent communication skills, a clear voice and good pronunciation, confidence when talking to large numbers of people, good research skills, and the ability to react quickly to unexpected situations.
There is no set entry route to become a sports commentator so you can apply directly to employers if you've got some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this job.
It may be useful to get a degree in a relevant subject like journalism, sports journalism or sports business and broadcasting.
You can also work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a junior journalist.
You'll need to have some practical experience and be able to show you have a real enthusiasm for sports commentating. To get some work experience you could volunteer to commentate on charity events like fun runs, commentate for amateur matches at schools, college or for local teams, record commentary for websites or internet radio stations, and volunteer for community, hospital or student radio, or TV. You can get a list of radio stations from Community Media Association, Hospital Broadcasting Association and RadioCentre.
Large broadcasters like BBC Careers, ITV and Channel 4 offer work experience placements, insight and talent days.
You could get started by working as a broadcast assistant in a television or radio company. You'll need to work your way up from commentating at a local level and applying for promotion when you've got more experience.
As a sports professional, you may start off as a co-commentator or summariser, offering a specialist opinion on the action and tactical insights, before progressing to lead commentator.
Competition for jobs is very strong and very few jobs are advertised. Building up a network of industry contacts can help you find out about vacancies. You'll need to record examples of your commentating on CD, DVD or online so you can show your skills to potential employers.
It could be helpful to join the Sports Journalists' Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
With experience, you could become a studio-based presenter, move into programme making and producing, management, or written sports reporting.