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Notts player and The Mag columnist Blair Adams Completes Sports Journalism Course at Staffordshire University

19 May 2016

Club News

Notts player and The Mag columnist Blair Adams Completes Sports Journalism Course at Staffordshire University

19 May 2016

Popular defender Blair Adams has successfully completed a Sports Journalism course at Staffordshire University, with support from Notts County FC and the PFA.

The 24 year old, from South Shields, has been studying his Sports Journalism course for the last couple of years alongside his playing duties here at Notts County FC.

Since February, Blair has been writing a regular column for Award winning programme 'The Mag', which has been fantastically received by supporters, and has been using the published content to bolster his already impressive portfolio.

Blair has worked with local media outlets including the Nottingham Post and BBC Radio Nottingham, as well as working closely with Notts' in-house Media team. Notts County FC Marketing and Media Executive and Programme Editor, Benedict Mason, spoke of his admiration of Blair's work and respect for his academic achievements:

"Blair has been a pleasure to work with, and his attitude and journalistic qualities are of an exceptional standard. When I asked Blair in February to contribute a regular 'Inside Man' style column to The Mag he jumped at the chance, despite his already hectic schedule. He'd be training with the playing squad in the morning, completing his university work in the afternoon and writing his programme column in the evening! The result has been a brilliant programme column, and some great additions to Blair's written journalism portfolio." 

"To be able to juggle his playing career and his academic studies deserves a huge amount of praise and respect, and I'm glad that, as a club, we have been able to help him pursue these educational goals and given him the support he's needed."

Blair Adams said, "I am hugely grateful to the Media Team and the staff at Notts County, who have helped me in every way they could."

"I now have a good understanding of the kind of planning and work put into developing the match programme, as well as the running of the club's website."

"For the second half of the season, I penned my column for 'The Mag', writing my thoughts on recent sports news. This gave me the opportunity to put what I had learnt on the course into practice and continue developing my writing style. It was also beneficial to me to experience the pressure of meeting the programme's deadlines."

Our sincere congratulations to Blair from all here at Notts County FC. Here's Blair's 'Inside Man' column from the final game of the season, in which he discusses his journalism degree and his season.

The curtains close on yet another football season today and so too comes the end of my Sports Journalism degree.

I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a bit of insight on studying for a degree while playing football professionally and also pay thanks to those that have helped me along the way.

As footballer’s we have plenty of time on our hands after training, and upon signing a 2-year contract for Notts County in 2014, I felt it was the right time to start putting it to good use.

The course has given me practice in different styles of sports writing, such as live match reports and the difference between the writing in local and national newspapers. It has also provided a taster in broadcasting techniques for TV and Radio, but most of my experience has come while completing work placements.

One of the best aspects of completing this degree has been meeting and working with new people, and the enthusiasm and willingness they have shown towards me to pass on their knowledge. I have been fortunate to be able to work with the media team at Notts County, while also utilising the local media outlets that cover the club.

I spent time with the Nottingham Post, where I enjoyed writing a weekly column that covered all things Notts County and had to tend with the pressures of meeting their deadlines.

More recently, I have worked with Colin Fray at BBC Radio Nottingham, who has shown me how their sports programmes run on a daily basis, and helped me edit my own radio packages that I have later submitted to the University.

They have both been a fantastic help, and I have learned a lot from each of them.

Admittedly, there have been times where I have been well out of my comfort zone. I recall on one of my first days working with Leigh Curtis at the Nottingham Post, I interviewed local boxer Leigh Wood, and found myself stuttering as I struggled to think of things to ask him.

It’s funny, I have no problem performing in front of a few thousand fans on a Saturday but on a phone call to interview another athlete my mind went blank! It comes naturally with a bit of practice though and after a conducting a few interviews since, I feel a lot more comfortable.

I have found that getting my head down to complete a little bit of work has helped me switch off from the football when I’ve needed to, which I feel in turn, has helped me when I’ve got back on the field. In this profession, it’s vital you overcome setbacks quickly and in these last two years I feel I’ve improved hugely in that department.

Whatever happens this summer, I will have a degree in the bag and another career I know I’ll be interested in taking up once my career is finished. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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