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United by a passion for the story of sport

​June 26, 2020

Cardiff Metropolitan University
Staff and students from the Transatlantic Storytelling partnership on campus recently

A ground-breaking documentary made in collaboration with students from Ball State University, Indiana, and Cardiff Metropolitan University is set to have its global digital premiere next week.

Students from the two universities joined forces to create ‘Transatlantic Storytelling’, a feature length documentary charting the role of sport in Welsh life through the eyes of 7 elite Welsh athletes. 

The feature length documentary features current and previous Cardiff Met students and staff, celebrating a unique partnership between academic and sporting achievements. 

Wales’ fastest man, Sam Gordon, and Team GB cross country runner who said running saved her life features alongside Jenny Nesbitt, highlight the positive impact sport has on a person’s wellbeing and mental health. 

International rugby player Harrison Walsh, so badly injured two years ago he had to retire, shares his newfound pride in Paralympic sport almost two years on from injury. 

International netball player, Lydia Hitchings and county cricketer, Sam Pearce both on the verge of professional careers, share the pressures of balancing academic studies and elite training. 

While former Welsh International turned university lecturer and football coach, Dr. Christian Edwards, reflects on the year when Cardiff Met FC won the Cup, made it to Europe, and suspected heart attack that almost halted everything for him. 

The film made by the Ball State University’s SportsLink students in collaboration with Cardiff Met’s Sport Broadcast students, features stunning views of Wales’s mountains, castles, cliffs and coastlines, captured earlier this year in the month before the nation went into lockdown. 

Senior Lecturer Sports Broadcasting MSc, Joe Towns, said: “This project was not just about telling these individual stories but also to develop an understanding of the role and place of sport in the Welsh identity and culture. What these students have achieved is an emotive story telling experience that brings sport and the passion behind it to life.
“Our staff have learnt so much from our American counterparts. It’s been a real example of pedagogy sharing. And our students have had the chance to work with and learn from some incredible film makers as well as make lifelong friends. I’m immensely proud of everybody involved in ‘Transatlantic Storytelling’ and can’t wait for people to see it.”

Despite recent challenges the transatlantic team have compiled and edited the feature length documentary, working remotely and at a distance during these unprecedented times.

The project is the result of a partnership between the two universities, fostered by the respective course leaders – Joe Towns, in Wales and Chris Taylor in the USA.