Intern Spotlight: Harry Bartle

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The new A-Leagues season is in full swing with the latest crop of interns in The Football Sack Internship Program cutting their teeth in press boxes around the country.

The TFS Internship Program has already seen 91 successful graduates come through its ranks, with this season seeing 15 new faces ready to work hard towards their dream job in the industry.

Throughout the season we will highlight some of those interns and this month we spoke to Harry Bartle, who will be covering Wellington Phoenix during the 2021/22 A-Leagues season.

A third-year communication student at Massey University, Wellington, Harry’s love for football was discovered only recently. It has since burned brightly and further fuelled his already burning desire to become a sports journalist.

“I was actually brought up in a rugby family. Then we got into the Phoenix about two years ago. Ever since then I’ve followed them, fell in love with the team and then started following other leagues as well,” Harry said.

“I always knew that I was going to do journalism as my degree. So, I just went straight for it after I finished.”

Harry was searching for a student placement opportunity to complete a university requirement and immediately was pointed towards The Football Sack Internship Program. With its hands-on approach and deep-end exposure, it fit perfectly with what Harry needed to grow as a journalist.

“I just went to the university office and said ‘I like journalism and I am interested in sports,’ and Christian Layland from The Football Sack had literally emailed the university the day before saying that they’re looking for someone to cover the Phoenix. So, I just applied, had the interview, and luckily got the gig,” Harry said.

“The thing I’ve enjoyed the most so far is really just being a journalist, getting the opportunity to actually talk to players, participating in press conferences, and writing the stories.

“Most internships you just get given the basic jobs that no one wants to do, but doing this for The Football Sack so far, I never thought there’d be a placement where I actually get to interview players and write match reports. I feel like I actually am a journalist.”

Harry echoed the thoughts shared by the other interns on the admirable work carried out by The Football Sack, and how important it is for their faith in up-and-coming talent to catch on across all career paths.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and a fantastic organisation. It’s so important and there needs to be more of it because it’s so hard, in any field, coming out of university to find a job when they’re all asking for experience,” Harry said.

“How are people supposed to get into the industry if they’ve never had the opportunity to gain that experience?”

“The Football Sack gives us that platform to actually build up published work. So when we go and try to get jobs, we can say, ‘Hey, yeah, we actually do have experience, this is a legitimate business with a genuine audience.’ It’s great and there should be far more opportunities like this across all fields.”

The Football Sack and the wealth of opportunity they offer to their interns is kept alive through the generosity of their donors. Those who believe in the promise of young writers and have the courage and faith to donate money to give those writers a go in their dream field. Harry couldn’t thank them enough.

“Firstly, I’d say like thank you, because without them we wouldn’t have an organisation and a platform to get all this great experience. Especially at a time like this where COVID has put the brakes on a lot of different things,” he said.

“I think it’s a really great thing, what they’re doing. They’ve given me and all my fellow interns the opportunity to do what we’re doing: to learn and to build our portfolio. All I can say is how much they are appreciated and I hope they can keep it going.”

The Football Sack has opened the door to Harry’s dream career and he cannot wait to build on the experience he has gained thus far.

“I’ve always wanted to get into a position where I can just discuss sports. Whatever it is, radio, podcasts, TV, just talking about sport all the time. That’s the dream.”

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Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

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Tom Macrae
Tom Macraehttp://medium.com/@macraetomr23
Communications undergrad at Western Sydney University covering Macarthur FC in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle United. Jack Grealish fangirl.

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