July 29, 2017 Joe Mander

Covering the Para-Athletics – London 2017

For the past week I’ve been fortunate enough to cover the para-athletics for ITV News London. Based at the Olympic Park in Stratford with presenter Ruth Zorko, we’ve covered various stories throughout the week. Here’s a brief account of what I’ve been doing. 

Friday 14th July

Kicking off the coverage started with a live at lunchtime for the National news. A paralympian was doing a ‘down the line’ to the presenter back in the studio. All should have been simple as we were using a satellite truck although with a broken DigiLink and two broken cables, it didn’t run quite as smoothly! Straight off the back was a normal interview, which was sent back to the office live. Later that day was another interview and Facebook Live followed by a press conference for all non-rights holders. Another interview follows with Sir Philip Craven who was interviewed once for ITV London and then again for News at Ten. After a quick piece to camera with Steve Scott, I then head off out of the stadium to do another live, with a live intro in the headlines and then a two minute live with a reporter and guest.

Monday 17th July

An interesting day today; I was filming behind the scenes at the wheelchair and prosthetic workshop which fixes and repairs the equipment for athletes. After doing a Facebook Live at the site, I then stayed around to do a live at 6:15.

Tuesday 18th July

First thing I headed to a school in West Ham to film a group of school children leaving for the Olympic Park. Meeting Ruth at the school, we vox-popped the children before Ruth went with them to film them arriving at the park. I drove there and got shots of them heading into the stadium and meeting the volunteers. Later in the day we interviewed an athlete before heading home.

Wednesday 18th July

A quiet news day today – I headed to Harlow to do a live with a trainer. Heading out with a LiveU (which works by sending video footage live over several sim cards), unfortunately the signal at the site wasn’t good – it kept dropping out. It was agreed with the reporter that it would be too risky to do the interview live, so it was pre-recorded and sent back to the office.

Thursday 19th July

No Para coverage today, instead working on a Grenfell Tower story with a live in the evening.

Friday 20th July

Finishing the week on a lovely story – we surprised 9 year old Rio Woolf by meeting para-athlete Sophie Kamlish. Rio was able to ask her questions and even race against her. This concluded the week. The para’s finish on Sunday, which means that out coverage will conclude on Monday.

Monday 24th July

Concluding our coverage of the para-athletics, we interviewed Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics. We also interviewed him live when we kicked off our coverage. After this, we headed to Basildon to film at a gym which provides sessions to people with disabilities; all of this was combined into one package.

And voila, our coverage was complete; a great time with Ruth covering London 2017! It was described by our acting-editor as “Perfectly produced and planned, skillfully shot and reported fantastically.” Now for a short break before it starts again! If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me @BTPJoe.

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