When I received an email from my lecturer about applying for a placement at the BBC for the Sports Personality of the Year 2012 it’s safe to say I didn’t expect to win it… but I was willing to give it a go.
To enter the competition I had to send a 300-word entry about my favourite moment of the London Olympic Games. It was pretty hard to decide what single moment was my favourite because I had been so obsessed with every little part of the Olympics but I managed to finally come to a decision.
The one moment that stood out for me was from the 400m semi-final. Oscar Pistorius, also known as the ‘Blade Runner’, became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
That in itself is a pretty captivating image but it wasn’t that that I enjoyed. It was the reaction of Kirani James that inspired me. James, the eventual winner of the 400m gold medal, headed straight to Pistorius and exchanged his bib number before celebrating his semi-final win.
In football you see this often with people exchanging shirts, but never before had I seen an act of respect and admiration like this at the Olympics.
A few days after I’d sent my application off, I received an email saying I had been shortlisted to attend a BBC sport session with more than 50 other hopefuls at Media City UK in Manchester.I enjoyed listening to the guests that BBC Sport had speak there but I honestly thought my chances were slim about getting the final placement opportunity.
However, a week later I received a call from Shelley Alexander, the Outreach Manager for Sport at the BBC and was told I was down to the final two and that she would like to conduct a short interview over the phone.
I was shocked to be receiving the call but I convinced Shelley I was the right person to win and was given the placement on the spot.
I couldn’t believe it and I was over the moon that I had managed to beat tough competition and find myself working on what would be the biggest BBC Sports Personality of The Year show ever staged.
I headed off to Media City to begin my work placement three weeks before show day and I was filled with nervous excitement. I couldn’t wait to be a part of the team and yet I was anxious as to what it was I would be doing and if I would be capable enough.My role was a runner and that is what I did.
Every day I would offer my help to the team with anything they needed me to do and I enjoyed every second of it. Never before had I been so excited to photocopy and research because in every minute I was doing that, I was being fascinated by stories from the people I shared the desk with.
After my two weeks in Media City UK, I was sent down to London to begin help at the ExCeL arena where the show would be staged. The transformation from the first day I got there to show day was incredible and the effort put in was remarkable.
Show day was the most hectic of days I have ever worked. If I had a pedometer its score would be through the roof but I wasn’t complaining. The rush of the day’s work was more than worth it when you got to watch the show back and realise you were a part of it.
There are so many memories that I could talk about, and I could go on for ever with small stories from behind the scenes as the nation watched Bradley Wiggins take the title, but there are three that stick in my mind.
The first was getting to see Emeli Sande perform in rehearsals. Seeing her on stage when there was no one around and watching her sing, with the obituaries showing in the background, was breathtaking. This raw performance was just wonderful.
Secondly, I got to meet the love of my life: David Beckham.
And finally, seeing my name on the BBC’s credits at the end of 2012’s Sports Personality of The Year show, knowing I had actually worked there and I was a part of that team. It’s still mad to think of it now.
My three weeks working for BBC Sport really were magical and it was all down to people that were there.
I was entertained and engrossed daily and my time with the SPOTY team flew by too quickly for my liking. I would do it all again in a heartbeat .
I cannot thank the team enough for the memories they have given me, the advice I have been told and the lessons I have learnt.