From the lecture theatres at La Trobe University to the office of one of the biggest sporting websites in the country, Ben Waterworth’s journey has been all about taking the chances in front of him.
Ben graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Journalism (Sport), and while his studies helped him develop the skills required to become the AFL Digital Lead at Fox Sports Australia, Ben believes it was the extra opportunities he was offered that grew his passion.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better uni experience, for not only what happened in class but also the extra opportunities that I was afforded,” Waterworth said.
For Ben, this meant publishing a record number of articles for Upstart throughout his three year degree; a record that still stands today.
Upstart is La Trobe’s online news publication which allows students to get their work reviewed and published while completing their studies.
“I think of the chance I was given through Upstart which helped me develop my writing because I was practically writing every week.”
Between his studies and publishing on Upstart, Ben also found the time to complete a number of internships, including one that took him overseas.
“There was a time when a company called Infostrada Sports were looking for people to write at the 2009 Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament in Melbourne and a mate and I put our hands up,” Waterworth said.
“Showing that initiative and impressing on the job was obviously noted as a few months later I was offered the chance to cover the Youth Olympics in Singapore along with the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.”
Upon graduating, the work Ben completed outside his required studies immediately paid off when he was offered a job at the Eastern Football League (EFL) as their media manager.
Ben worked at the EFL for three years, gaining a newfound appreciation for the amount of volunteers working throughout community football in Australia.
Ben left the EFL when he secured a job on the Herald Sun Super Footy team, a role that led him to where he is today.
“With the Herald Sun and Fox Sports both falling under the NewsCorp umbrella they decided to spilt the team in early 2015,” Waterworth explained.
“This meant that another colleague and I moved to Fox Sports to produce more football related content for the Fox Sports website, and I took up the lead position after Adam Baldwin moved across to the AFLPA sometime later.”
Now known as the AFL Digital Team, Ben leads a group of five journalists including two other La Trobe graduates in Riley Beveridge and Tom Morris.
Ben continues to write his own pieces while leading the team, and he urges today’s crop of aspiring sport journalists to make the most of the opportunities placed in front of them.
“You make your own luck but a lot of that depends on where you intern because jobs can lead from impressing in internships. If you get an opportunity, it might not be your ideal job but it’s a start and they can be the perfect foundation for a bigger career down the road.”
The La Trobe Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) degree is now offered as the Bachelor of Media and Communication (Sport Journalism).