Winter Games

Live webcast a chance of a lifetime for reporter

By Melanie Reader
Pasadena Academy
Pasadean, Newfoundland

I knew right from the beginning that it was the chance of a lifetime, but I certainly didn't realize how much fun it would be.

A week before the winter games began here in Corner Brook, I was given the opportunity to do a live webcast for SNN of the Canada Winter Games' opening ceremonies from the Canada Games Centre. I didn't hesitate for very long before giving my answer. I now had a week to prepare for the webcast which had never been done before. Thankfully, with the help from my journalism partner, Michelle Martine, and my teacher supervisor, Mr. Matthew Alexander, by Saturday morning, I was ready to go.

Melanie Reader, Beth Ryan,
Elliott Sheaves, and Michelle Martin
On Saturday morning, I finally met Beth Ryan from SNN who would be helping Elliott Sheaves and me with the broadcast. I had met Elliott for the first time only a few days before, and I was kind of nervous because I didn't know any of them. Once we started practising our lines, though, it soon felt like we had known each other for a much longer time.

When we arrived at the Canada Games Centre to set up, Elliott and I were allowed to explore for a while to get our bearings. It was so cool being able to go almost anywhere we liked because all we had to do was show our media pass and the security people let us through. We even got to go into the VIP lounge and get free drinks.

The most exciting part of the morning was meeting the TSN crew. We met Jim Van Horne who is one of TSN's hosts as well as TSN's producer, Rick Chisholm. Even though we were only a small broadcast compared to them, they treated us really great and Jim Van Horne even wished us luck and told us not to be nervous. He also congratulated us on being chosen and showed interest in what the SNN site was all about. Most importantly to Elliott and me was the fact that he said we had great potential for a future in journalism and that a broadcast like this was a great way to start.

The time was soon drawing near for the broadcast to begin. After five run-throughs of the script, we decided that we knew it pretty well. Fortunately, we weren't too nervous because we weren't doing it in front of a large audience, but only a camera. Then we realized how many people were actually watching it on their computers! Our "spiel", as Beth called it, took about seven minutes to do so the technicians decided to start the broadcast at 1:22 pm so that the ceremonies would just be starting when we were finished. Our broadcast was being held right next to the place where TSN was doing their broadcast. I have never been so nervous but once it was over, I knew that we had done OKAY!

Elliott and Melanie during
the live webcast
view the Winter Games introduction by the SNN reporters

After our broadcast was over, we were able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ceremonies from one of the best seats in the house. It was spectacular! The music was great and it was just amazing to realize that a small region like ours could pull off something so fantastic and that we could be even just a small part of it. I have never felt so much energy and emotion in one building as I did that day. It was so loud that we could hardly hear ourselves think! It was definitely something to be proud of.

Melanie, Elliott and
the TSN Reporters
The games are now well underway and every day there is something new to experience, but I will never forget the experience I had during the opening ceremonies of the Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook. Just to know that Elliott and I were making history by doing the first-ever, live webcast of a Canada Games Opening Ceremonies is something that I will always cherish.

I don't know yet if I will go into journalism for sure but this definitely gave me a good perspective on what it is like. The people from SNN and STEM~Net were great and made me feel at home. lliott was also great and I'm sure that he would agree that we made a pretty good team. Overall, my experience as a reporter for a day was definitely an experience of a lifetime.