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UEL sports journalism student wins competition to cover England v Jamaica netball match

students at UEL

Beth Gunter will take over England netball Snapchat

A University of East London (UEL) sports journalism student will take over the England netball Snapchat account during the team’s upcoming international match against Jamaica.

Beth Gunter earned the honour – beating fellow students from around the country – after submitting a social media savvy pitch to a competition sponsored by Go Girl car insurance.

The contest asked journalists how they would cover the Vitality Netball International Series netball match, which takes place on 29 November at the Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

“I knew I wanted to take a social media angle because that’s becoming so important in sports journalism,” Beth said. “Having that understanding of media platforms is so much more important than it was just two years ago, when I started my course.”

Beth’s coverage plan includes match coverage, player interviews and light-hearted engagement with spectators. In addition to Snapchat, an app that allows users to post content with an expiration date, Beth will stream live coverage from Facebook. 

Beth also plans to bring along an American friend to provide insights on the match from the perspective of an unfamiliar and sceptical viewer. 

Beth said she hopes to change the view many Americans have of netball. The sport has never caught on across the pond, despite being the most popular female team sport in the UK.

“Netball isn’t a thing in America,” she said. “They don’t get it. So we’ll talk about how my friend’s perceptions change after watching it at that high level.”

Ultimately, the goal is to generate as large a social media audience as possible by engaging with spectators and others tuning in through Snapchat and Facebook, Beth said.

Beth, who is from Southampton and attends UEL on a volleyball sports scholarship, said she does not have her heart set on any particular journalism career path after she graduates in 2017. However, she said she would like to cover the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

UEL’s BA (Hons) Sports Journalism programme leader, Dr Carrie Dunn, said, “I’m absolutely thrilled about this. It goes some way to showing the terrific ideas our students are developing, and how they’re being recognised in the industry.”

You can follow Beth’s coverage on Snapchat on 29 November at England_netball.