While volunteering with Leeds Carnegie / Leeds United Ladies FC, I didn’t have a clear remit. You rarely do when you’re a volunteer, which is why on a few occasions I also helped lay out the kit, took money on the gate, sold raffle tickets, settled the hotel bill on overnight stays and stood in for the Secretary.
But mostly, I played to my strengths, looking for new ways to promote interest in our games and get some sort of following going – especially for the away matches.
I was already tweeting goalflashes via Twitter, and all the usual stuff like match preview and reports when I hit upon the idea of full match, live text commentary. Partly this was because I was feeling guilty about travelling to away games, especially overnight ones, merely to write 600-ish words.
I opened a free account with Cover it Live (other services are available) and embedded the content on our WordPress-powered web site and got to it. A tougher task than you’d think at home games, as I also had my MC and results phoning-in duties to perform.
There were only two problems; I can’t touch-type, and I don’t actually know that much about the mechanics of football. Three problems if you count not being a journalist (which for most journalists doesn’t seem to hold them back. More than a few used to run my work releases verbatim, as well as ripping off my match reports from the Ladies site for the sports pages of the local rag.
One Tuesday evening we were at Blackburn and someone asked about our formation. I knew Carly was in goal and that was about it. Two days later, I was at Elland Road for a meeting and the manager, bless him, tried to explain the match tactics on a whiteboard. No help whatsoever. In one ear, out the other.
So my live text commentary started to resemble a one-man women’s football equivalent of Test Match Special. Mind you, the home-made soups at Bedworth Oval (where we played Coventry City Ladies) were fantastic, and well work writing about.
Sadly, this was one new skill I never got the chance to apply in the workplace, so if anyone is looking for someone during the elections, Eurovision, triathlon, do drop me a line. It’s one thing I’d love to do again.