Interested in describing the action at St James Park?Exeter City are currently looking for a volunteer to join their Soccer Sight team, providing matchday commentary to all Exeter City home games for visually impaired (VI) supporters.
The initiative, which started in 2006, aims to increase accessibility to live football for VI fans by improving the matchday experience with commentary provided from the Stagecoach Family Stand and transmitted throughout the ground via headsets that can be collected from Reception.
The service works in a similar manner to a radio commentary – with a team of two or three providing description and analysis of the game live from St James Park – but with an extra focus on describing specifically where play is unfolding on the pitch, as opposed to requiring John Motson-esque statistical knowledge.
With two of the team now studying at university, Soccer Sight is looking for a volunteer who would be willing and available to cover games particularly during term time (October-December; February-April).
No previous experience is required so this is a great opportunity for somebody passionate about increasing access to football for all supporters, keen to add volunteering to their CV or for any individuals interested in a career in sports journalism or broadcasting – as evidenced by a number of our commentators who have gone on to study relevant degrees at university.
Nick Saunders, chairman of Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association, said: “We strive to make St James Park a good place for disabled fans to visit and we provide many different services.
“The Soccer Sight project is just one strand of this and has been one of the most successful since its inception. It enhances match days no end for our visually impaired fans and allows them to be part of the action on the pitch.”
If you are interested in getting involved then please contact Operations Manager Andy Gillard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Soccer Sight co-ordinator Tom Fowles (email@example.com) who will arrange for you to have a trial run at one of the pre-season friendlies in July.
To learn more about Soccer Sight, please take a look at the below video about the service.
One of the current commentators, Daniel Clark, has since gone on to working as a reporter for the Herald Express newspaper since he started doing Soccer Sight commentary.
He said: "Doing Soccer Sight commentary provided me with invaluable experience that helped me significantly in my journalistic career.
"I think that it definitely helped me get the job that I have now and that it helped me to develop as a journalist as well.
"If you are interested in developing a career in journalism or broadcasting then getting involved in this is something that I would recommend doing as it can only help you. It provides unique and practical experience and it enables you to find out what it is like doing a live commentary.”
Soccer Sight/Exeter City would also like to thank season ticket holders Alex Sadiq, Pete Godbeer and Tom Murch who raised £100 for the service after helping to organise an Easter fundraiser at a local insurance firm by persuading colleagues to give up all manner of treats during Lent and then fining them for their failure!