Intern Spotlight: Grace Clegg

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Nobody does A-League reporting quite like the team of The Football Sack’s interns. This season has been no different, and a fresh set of interns are thriving in The Football Sack internship program.

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The Football Sack Internship program has been a surreal opportunity for a countless number of aspiring young journalists. The program has already produced 100 graduates, and there’s no doubt that number will skyrocket, after what the current interns on board have to offer.

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This month, we spoke to Grace Clegg who has been covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 A-Leagues season.

Grace currently studies at the University of Newcastle where she is pursuing her passion for sports journalism by studying a Bachelor of Communications.

Not only did this internship program present itself as a beneficial learning experience to refine her journalistic skills, but it also gave an opportunity for Grace to learn about the beautiful game.

Grace admits it has been a learning curve given her background in rugby league.

“At the start I was way out of my depth, I had no idea what anyone was talking about, but doing some research and just talking to other journos put me on the right track,” Grace said.

“I’m enjoying it a lot more than I initially thought I would have. I don’t even mind watching soccer now, which is something I never thought I’d say but I’m enjoying it.”

“Not many people get to attend Jets games for free. I know there’s a lot of people who would love to be in my position. I’m getting to sit in the press box and it’s really exciting,” she said.

Although the challenges of being thrown in the deep end was daunting for Grace, she says a healthy dose of realism has helped her settle in and flourish.

“I was really nervous about the prospect of interviewing players and coaches, but I think what I just tried to tell myself was that they’re only human,” she said.

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“They’re not any better than me, and I’m not any better than them. Now I love talking to coaches,” she said.

“It was just getting used to having the confidence in myself like I said, just reminding myself that they’re just people and they’ve got a job to do. I’ve got a job to do and everyone just wants to get it done.”

Grace believes the internship program with The Football Sack is a massive first step towards the right direction in her career. With an everlasting love for sports journalism, she truly values her ongoing experiences throughout the program.

“You’re literally throwing straight in the deep end and it’s just you and you’ve got no one else there and you just have to rise to the occasion.

“The team all do such an incredible job. The feedback we get from Josh has been invaluable. It’s really helped me grow as a writer and Christian and Matt and just the whole team are awesome.”

Grace also feels an indescribable amount of gratitude to the donors for allowing her to indulge herself into a one-of-a-kind internship program.

Grace understands that the donors, make it possible for journalists, sports fanatics and football clubs to come together in the world of reporting.

“I think it’s incredible, it’s a program that can’t be run without them. I obviously wouldn’t be in this position without them. They literally keep it running so thank you to the donors.

“The program is so amazing and so important for young aspiring journalists. I don’t think there’s any other sort of program like it out there.”

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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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Min-Gyu Shim
Min-Gyu Shim
Bachelor of Journalism student at UQ, and a full time football fanatic. Covering Brisbane Roar for the 2020/21 season.

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