Even my most distant acquaintances are well aware I’m not a sports fan – my legendary lack of coordination has relegated me to the benches as long as I can remember. However, even I can’t deny the excitement of attending Sunday’s CQUniversity Taipans game. I didn’t understand a whole lot of the calls, but that didn’t stop me cheering – or, I confess, booing and jeering – along with the electric crowd.
I was attending with seven other students, as winners of CQUniversity’s Budding Bloggers competition. Our passions ranged from writing to photography, but all of us were seriously considering a career in media. We were to spend the day seeing the inner workings of the industry, watching the game as well as experiencing the behind-the-scenes work that a journalist, video technician or advertiser might do.
I assure you, whether you’re a diehard basketball fan or a stranger to sporting like myself, a Taipans game is an event to see. Filing into their seats a half-hour before the game, I was impressed to see the dedication of Cairns locals to their team. Replete with the team colour, a sea of orange-clad fans flooded the Convention Centre, bristling with excitement before the game even began. The anticipation was peaking as the beginning of the game was announced, with the attendees commanded to stand and cheer for the entering players.
All throughout the game, music blared from the speakers and chants were sung, with the cheerleaders providing lively intermissions. I may have shocked an attendee I asked whether we were in half-time, but I can’t deny I enjoyed the game. With a Taipans victory, the fans sure did, too. The number of regulars is testament to the community’s appreciation of the event, which absolutely plays a role in bringing the town together. Charming anecdotes were plentiful: after watching an enthusiastic fan berate the players from a courtside box, attired in his customary garish Hawaiian shirt, I was told “Oh, he sits there every week. It helps him distract the opposition”.
The thrill of the game matched the excitement of my media experience. Before my time with CQUniversity, I held a rather antiquated idea of the industry – sometimes I feel like my thinking is stuck in the Sixties, the days of typewriters and broadsheets. However, I got to see just how modern and diverse a media career can be, catering to a multitude of interests and skills. The other students and I visited the television truck which organised the broadcast, made Instagram posts, did our own photography and writing, met with media workers and other game officials, and got to sit behind the cameras of a press conference. It was all fast-paced and very authentic.
At an age when we’re trying to choose careers with very little knowledge of what they truly entail, the CQUniversity Budding Bloggers event was an invaluable experience for myself and my peers. It gave us experience in a real work environment, helping to inform our difficult decisions in the years to come – and all in the exciting setting of a local Taipans game, even capturing the interest of a stranger to sports like myself.