In this week’s 10 minutes with, Sunny Badwal talks to Newsworks about the role of sport throughout his life, his favourite news brand scoop and the importance of being curious…
How did you get into journalism?
I always had an interest in watching sport from an early age. I was fascinated with wanting to know what went on behind the scenes in elite level sport and I found myself invested in pre/post-match pressers. There was nothing more I would have liked than to rub shoulders with professional athletes or well-known sports people from past or present.
As I grew older, it became clear that being a sports journalist was the only thing I wanted to do. I went to study it at university while picking up vital experience at different organisations and sports clubs before finding myself at PA.
Why does journalism matter?
For me, journalism matters because it connects all parts of society together. To demand answers from those with stature and significance and feed that back to the people is something that can only happen through us.
Also, it helps educate people about issues all over the globe. Nowadays, you can do that from the touch of a button on your phone.
Not from me (yet), but the best scoop would have to be the MPs expenses scandal which led to government reforms. That really highlights the power of journalism – investigations by journalists can help uncover a lot of truths which can only be positive in moving forward.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently in the middle of building up my match reporting and face-to-face interviewing skills.
Huddersfield v Millwall has been my latest expedition and have just finished writing up a report and a quotes-led piece for that game, being able to cover Championship football this early in my career has given me invaluable experience going forward.
I love doing this and speaking to those involved, hanging onto their last words and creating a story out of it can be quite rewarding.
Career highlight so far?
The highlight of my short career so far has definitely been covering the Super League Grand Final between St Helens and Catalans at Old Trafford. To cover any sports final in my first year of work, I have to count myself very lucky.
Also working at the Cricket World Cup was pretty special, as well as being able to interview players that I’ve grown up watching including Jamie Carragher and Roberto Carlos. Hopefully I keep building up those experiences and maybe I can share a new highlight with you guys next time.
Best piece of advice?
That’s a tough one and this may sound so simple but one of the best pieces of advice has been to never be afraid to ask questions. This has gone a long way for me early on, starting at a workplace in the middle of a pandemic and in a lockdown, I was unsure on quite a few things.
But I’d rather be confident from asking questions than heading into work not knowing what I’m doing – being a journalist, we are meant to ask questions, aren’t we.
Who or what inspires you most?
My parents are my biggest inspiration to me. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given every opportunity to pursue my dream of working in sports media.
Seeing them work hard all their lives has driven me to always produce my best and work to the best of my ability. Making them and my family proud is my biggest inspiration.
Fantasy dinner party guests?
Cristiano Ronaldo and Drake. Favourite sports star and favourite rapper. Would just sit there for hours listening to them both.
How do you switch off from work?
Playing football and going to the gym helps me switch off. I’ll get in the gym more or less every day after work just to put my mind elsewhere.
Don’t mind a beer or two with some mates on the weekend as well, I think having a good social life with family and friends is important.
Gym or Gin?
That’s a really tough one… on this occasion I’ll have to go with gin. Love going to the gym but offer me a drink and I’ll find it very hard to turn down.
If I wasn’t a journalist, what would I be?
Never really thought about this because being a sports journalist was the only thing I ever wanted to do… but I’m going to say a PE Teacher.
My brother is one, and he comes home with some right stories. Plus, they get half a year off in holidays.