December 20, 2019
Three Cardiff Met Sport Broadcast students are celebrating after completing the trip of a lifetime supporting rugby legend Gareth Thomas’ epic Sport Relief challenge.
Kay Davies, Greg Caine and Jack Jones joined the former Wales captain on a gruelling seven-day 500-mile cycle ride from Wales to Scotland to raise money for the charity while helping to smash the stigma of HIV.
Gareth, widely praised for revealing he was HIV positive, started his journey at Cardiff’s Bute Park, delivering the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy to Aberdeen’s P&J Live Arena - the venue for the annual awards.
With 'Alfie’ every mile of the way were the three Cardiff Met Sport Broadcast students, creating fast-turnaround content for the BBC to publicise the mission and raise money for Sport Relief.
Gareth's seven-day cycle – dubbed the Tour De Trophy – saw him joined by celebrities including Judy Murray, Dame Kelly Holmes and Shane Williams, who were all interviewed by the three Cardiff Met students, who experienced rain, sleet and snow, early starts, late finishes, filming all day, often editing all through the night to complete their task.
The content they created has now been viewed and shared by millions across BBC platforms, even appearing as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year TV broadcast on Sunday, December 15.
The students were recruited by Welsh digital production company, Siml Social, whose CEO Owen Williams gives an annual lecture to the Sport Broadcast students at Cardiff Met. When he was looking for a team to shoot, edit and create content during the challenge, he asked Sport Broadcast Programme Director Joe Towns if he had any students available for the adventure.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime for the students and one which course director Joe Towns is immensely proud of.
“It was fantastic to see them putting the skills they learnt on the course to use for such an amazing cause," he said. "I watched their content every day on the BBC and was so impressed by the standard of filming, quality of storytelling and the emotion they managed to get into the films.”
Owen Williams, former Head of Social at BBC One, was delighted with the input from the students and clearly impressed with their skill set. He said: “The Sport Broadcast MSc course is unparalleled in supplying the industry with a rich new seam of talent.”
Cardiff Met Sport Broadcast student Greg Caine, who recently set up his own videography company, said: “The trip has been an unbelievable experience. It was mad to see videos that we had shot and edited getting hundreds of thousands of views on the BBC.”
When their final video went out during the Sports Personality broadcast, Sport Broadcast student Jack Jones tweeted: “I need to sit back and take a moment. Footage I shot and edited is being seen by 1000s in the arena and millions back at home. It’s been a blast.”
Cardiff Met Sport Broadcast programme Director Joe Towns added: “Our aim is for students to be industry ready so it’s great when our students gain real-world opportunities and prove that our course is current and contemporary.”