A schoolgirl was presented with a national sports journalism prize this morning.
Hope Bhargava, who attends Rhodes Avenue Primary School in Rodes Avenue, Wood Green, won BNY Mellon Young Sports Reporter of the Year and was awarded her trophy by Oxford University rower Tom Swartz.
Hope’s report, which covered a recording of the 2013 Oxford v Cambridge boat race, was selected from 1,052 entries as the winner in the Key Stage 2 category by a mixture of public votes and expert judges.
The panel was made up of both sports stars and established sports journalists, including Ed Coode, a gold medallist in the coxless fours at the Athens Olympics 2004, and Jonathan Legard, a BBC sports broadcaster.
Hope, aged 11, said she was “amazed” to have won, adding that she had not really watched much rowing before writing the report.
She said: “I worked on the report for an hour in class and wrote down all the facts, then I wrote it in about two hours at home.”
Hope, who won a VIP day out at the 2014 boat race for herself and her family, said that her favourite part of this year’s race was the start.
She added: “I was supporting Oxford because my sister was supporting Cambridge. She’s decided she wants to go to Cambridge when she’s older.”
Tom Swartz, who has been rowing for ten years, said: “Hope’s report was really fantastic. It really gets the blow by blow part of the race, but most importantly it gets the emotions.
“It gets across the feelings of the people in the race, and that’s so important for a sport that’s not particularly good at emotional connection.”
Hope’s teacher, Natasha Payne, explained that the class watched the 2013 boat race video twice before writing their reports, the second time making notes.
She said: “We try to enter outside competitions so that writing has a purpose. We thought this competition was something fun to do and would be a great experience.
“I was very surprised Hope won because so many people entered, although obviously it was a great piece.”