Life Behind a Football Star

Being a competitive athlete who takes part in a team sport can be such an exciting and fun career/hobby, however with it comes many additional aspects not everyone understands or realises.

From the outside it may be completely undetectable, however Tayla, 19, can often become a victim of external and internal pressures from her sport, touch football, and regularly suffers from acute anxiety. “It can be very hard. Sometimes I just want to quit.” While on the outside, it looks as if this fit young lady looks happy, motivated and talented and plays a very impressive game, being chosen for many representative teams and coaching opportunities – Tayla often wishes she could just give up. The pressure to succeed and ‘win’ by her coach is one aspect, however the pressure from her team-mates and parents can be even more overwhelming.

Jarrod, 19, plays Rugby league, and experiences similar feelings that go on behind the scenes. Everybody sees him play, whether it is a good or a not so good game, yet no one can truly appreciate how much effort and determination goes into the preparation for just one game. Hours of training, runs before work, strength training, ice-baths, and eating properly; yet no other training aspects can compare to the emotional and physiological training that comes with the sport. As quotes in the clip, Jarrod often feels as though he is missing out on life events, whether it birthdays, family lunches or just hanging out with friends. This sacrifice is often what gets him down the most. Football consumes him, “It can take over my whole life, my whole mind.” Both Teenagers have been playing footy since they could remember, and often feel like they will let everyone down if they don’t feel like playing, or don’t play well.

In the interview both subject share their football experiences with us, including what they need to do in preparation for a game, and how they can overcome fears, stress, pressure and anxiety. I was lucky enough t be able to go along to one of Tayla’s games and take some photographs, however unable to get any of Jarrod playing. However images of him in all his gear sends the same message.

Please remember to always seek help if you find yourself suffering from anxiety, stress or depression.



task two ~ thoughts and ideas about assignment 3.

I am still not completely sure if i will end up choosing this idea for the final assignment as i think it may come across a bit too cliche`, but nonetheless here are my thoughts and ideas…

For the final assignment I am planning on exploring the change in everyday life from someone who has lost someone in his or her immediate family.

I am planning on interviewing three people of various ages, who had lost either a mother or father and how they had to adapt to a new life.

I wish to explore what the first steps in this process are, aswell as many other stages along the way.

I hope to primarily explore how things changed overtime and how it made the subject feel when a new member was brought into the family – ie, father re-marrying.

What went on behind the scenes, was it as easy as it appeared? Was it difficult? did it cause a family breakdown? did it strengthen the family again?

I hope to use original photographs of the homes from all three characters, aswell as ambient sound that will reflect what is being said in the interview. For example – anger: things smashing, maybe pots and pans, doors slamming. Television sounds, sounds of cooking and/or running water to grasp the true essence of home life.

Task One ~ Reviewing Interactive Journalism projects.

My favourite piece of interactive convergent journalism would have to be Highrise produced by Canada’s National Film board (NFB). This piece digs deep into 2,500 years of history of this building, as well as a number of individuals who lived in the building.

The piece of journalism gives you different options as to what you want to learn about, a brief background to most new ideas, maps and the option to go at your own pace. It includes games, images, videos and text to tell the story, and provides many links to further reading and more information if the reader choses. I think overall this level of interactivity allows for a more personalised experience, and enhances the reader’s knowledge without becoming bored or drained.

The project does not however work as well on mobile as it does on a laptop. On a smart phone, it still works fine but does not have the same effect: It’s slower, and abit too bit small to completely utilise all its features and take advantage of the interactivity.

The project also allows you to visit their blog, as well as giving you the option to share it on social media.

My least favourite would have to be shark and minnow, due to the main fact that is was not as easy on the eye as Highrise is. I didn’t particularly like that you had to keep scrolling and scrolling for what seemed like forever; however the use of pictures and videos was a nice touch. There also wasn’t many different links you could click on or much further reading; only what was shown there and then on the screen.

Pondering upon Assignment One.

When Thinking about this assignment and brainstorming different ideas in which to portray meaning between a particular person and place; it was clear to me that I would chose Jarrod Crick, a 19 year old Go-Kart racer whose fascination with racing has led to a realm of possibilities and new shared bonds.

Since Jarrod was born he has always had an association with racing through Rodney Crick, his father – multi Australian title-holder for truck racing. Jarrod has only recently lost his father, so the connection they used to share on the race track has continued, and Jarrod’s love for racing has strengthened even further. Jarrod believes he is making his father proud when he races, so wearing his racing suit is of utter significance and importance to him. Every time he races go-karts he feels it is a tribute to his Dad, as he displays Rodney’s racing number on his kart.

Jarrod not only feels a sense of connection to the racing and the go-kart track in general; but also to the place inside his heart in which racing takes him.

I want to portray this significance, not only in Jarrod’s individual love for racing, but how it makes him feel closer to his father as he continues the journey of what they once loved to do together. Jarrod races with his younger brother Cameron, and their relationship has never been greater in Jarrod’s opinion; he believes it has everything to do with the his dad and the track.

I hope to grasp aspects of these relationships, and the memory the brothers share of their family when they race. I would like the tone to be reflective and somewhat conversational and the mood to be enlightening, with hints of emotion. I would like Jarrod to share his story and what he feels when he is out there on the track.

Jarrod wearing his Dad's racing gear and a huge smile.

Jarrod wearing his Dad’s racing gear and a huge smile.

Abbie’s Place

Abbie refers to ‘the gym’ as her place. Her safe place. Her happy place. Her peaceful place. Her Challenging place. Whenever she has the chance she escapes to her local gym in order to escape reality and unwind with a bit of exercise. She Cant go more than a couple of days without going to the gym – so when it came to picking a subject for this assignment I knew I had to portray abbie and her connection with the gym.

“Something about putting in my earphones, blocking everything out, and just running – trying to meet a new goal each time.”

It doesn’t matter whether she is by herself or with friends, an hour at the gym allows her time to think, reflect on the day, clear her mind as well as getting seem physical activity.
A healthy lifestyle is extremely important for Abbie, not only eating healthy drinking water and working out, but setting and meeting goals and challenging herself is something she believes contributes.

It was challenging trying to record a sound through the chatter of people, background music, huffing a puffing and the noise of the machines – however I soon realised all these components truly grasped the essence of the gym in it’s purest form.

“It’s true – a healthy body is a healthy mind.”

The Gym

Abbie feels a real sense of connection when she is at the gym. Not only does she believe it is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but also a place where she can relax with her own thoughts, meet friends and new people and challenge herself each time.

IMG_8208 IMG_8212 IMG_8213 IMG_8224 IMG_8228 IMG_8239 IMG_8250Being at the gym inspires Abbie to make and achieve new goals, grow confidence in herself and learn new things.

The Surfer

“I find comfort when I’m in the ocean … Nature in general just puts me at ease”

When Adam feels stress dawn upon him he always turns to the great outdoors to relax and revegetate. Before a big exam or test he will go for a surf, go for a walk, or just vedge out in the sun to rid him of any stress. His connection with nature is portrayed in his laid back, down to earth personality and this connection is further grasped in this personal and emotional portrait. “I find everything easier when I’m outside in the fresh air.” A career based outdoors is what Adam aspires for – and becoming a journalist could possibly give him this opportunity.


Adam, 18, UOW student, surfer, socialiser, nature enthusiast.

Adam, 18, UOW student, surfer, socialiser, nature enthusiast.