Earlier in the year, I was invited by the FA Ireland to speak to their top flight clubs about media. What we do at The New Saints had come to their attention and the invitation to travel to Dublin was extended to us.
The coming-together was at the FAI HQ and it goes without saying that I had a good time. Not only was it a privilege and an honour to be recognised in this way but I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience.
While I was there though, my mind began to work along the lines of developing a media team here at TNS. In fact, you could say a vision was conceived and as I started to think about it, the potential became very real.
Back home, after chatting with our Chief Operating Officer Ian Williams, we contacted Wrexham’s Glyndŵr University. Not far from Park Hall, the institution is home to a Broadcasting, Journalism & Media department.
After making general contact with Glyndŵr, the next step was a face-to-face meeting with Jon Simcock. This went very well and since then several have taken place involving different people, with Jon continuing to be the main point of contact.
The lead photograph is from one of our meetings at Wrexham, with Ian and me joining Jon and Angela.
Pretty much nine months later from the initial conceiving over in Dublin, the vision was birthed as a number of students, back in for the new academic year, expressed a desire to get involved.
Several have now been to Park Hall for a tour, which of course gives them an insight into what goes on. Not only above the surface but beneath it, there are lots of activities already in place, plus the potential to launch more.
We are now in the very early days, and back to the anologies used already, a baby has been born. However, as any parent knows, that’s just the beginning. There’s work involved to make sure the stages of growth are smooth and on track.
The purpose of the link with Glyndŵr is two-fold. Firstly, it gives the degree students an opportunity to get some real hands-on experience while secondly it helps us as a club to do more.
On a personal level I’m looking for enthusiasm and reliability as much as anything. Without those qualities, you can be the most gifted person in your field but you won’t get anywhere.
We’re in the early stages at the moment but what I want is for individuals to embrace and engage. We can create the opportunity but it’s up to the students to grasp it and take it on board.
I want to be working closely with them and we’ve established a closed Facebook group where we can communicate. Work experience is where you can sometimes make mistakes, learn and adapt to the working environment without there being serious consequences.
It’s not a case of setting them free and doing their own thing but rather working as part of a team. For me it’s about having input into their lives, preparing them for the big bad world of real life.
It’s better that we point out things now, when it’s not that important, rather than when they finally get a job and it really will matter.
Stewart Bloor – Media & Communications Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev’s Ramblings is a weekly blog from a personal perspective, giving an insight into my work with TNS FC.