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Jacqui Oatley - football commentator


Jacqui Oatley © BBC - Jacqui Oatley - football commentator
Jacqui Oatley © BBC
In recent years there's been more and more female journalists bagging sports commentary jobs.

Jacqui Oatley was the first female broadcaster to win a commentator spot on the Match of the Day.

Oatley trained as a journalist and initially joined the BBC West Midlands as a radio news reporter. Her next move was as a sports reporter on BBC London 94.9.

In 2003 she joined BBC Radio Five Live becoming the first woman to commentate on a football match on British network radio in 2005.

Meeting sexism in football head on, Oatley's interview with UEFA President Lennart Johansson made headlines after he commented that "Companies could make use of a sweaty, lovely looking girl playing on the ground, with the rainy weather."  He told Oatley "It would sell" when asked about the popularity of the women's game. His comments provoked a national backlash.

In 2007 Oatley made her debut on Match of the Day and has gone on to report on the BBC's Football Focus, The Football League Show and Score.

Other female sports presenters who've infiltrated the world of football reporting, commentating and presenting include Celina Hinchcliffe, Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, Georgie Thompson, Charlie Webster, Gabby Logan, Charlotte Jackson and Kirsty Gallacher.

Get in to... sports commentating

Sports commentary is difficult to get into but a grounding in journalism is a good first step. You could go down the journalism, sports journalism or media studies degree route, take an NCTJ in sports journalism qualification or participate in an independent course.

Further specialist courses will help you to hone your skills and put together a show reel which you will need to bag yourself a presenting job. 

Experience is key so make sure you get as much as you can by taking on low level jobs, unpaid work experience and internships to begin with.

Get on Youtube and start a regular vlog to demonstrate your enthusiasm and also help you to find your voice and perfect your style.

Contact your local newspaper, radio or TV station and work your way up!


Women in Focus Editor
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