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Behind the Lens: Importance of Media Coverage in the PWHL

Kailey Sauve, a 24-year-old Ottawa native, holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Ottawa and has been working in the sports industry for the past 4 years. Interestingly, she is also a retired figure skater! A big fan of the Boston Celtics and the Seattle Seahawks, Kailey has had the exciting opportunity to cover PWHL games during the league’s inaugural year.

In what ways do you think media coverage can further amplify the voices and achievements of women in hockey?

I think media coverage can further amplify the voices and achievements of women in hockey through growing social media platforms. We live in a world where most people get their sports news and highlights through social media and I think using that to our advantage can grow the sport. We’ve seen this with the WNBA and the incredible viewership jump they’ve received, and I believe that the more player’s stories are told on social media, the more fans they will receive beginning to watch their games. Women’s sports are a rapidly growing market and by utilizing social media to tell the stories of athletes, they are then seen as more than just an athlete and fans can connect with them or begin to relate to them on a personal level.

Can you describe a typical day or routine when covering PWHL games?

I arrive at the arena an hour and a half before puck drop to pick up my media credentials. Once I have my credentials, I do a walk-through of the arena to start planning out where I will capture the content that I have planned. Once the doors open for fans and warm-ups start, I take the opportunity to capture as much content as I can of the athletes interacting with the fans. This is the time when pucks are given out and the players sign autographs as they are leaving warmups. Once warmups are over, I make my way to my designated media spot to start covering the game. I make sure to film big plays and goals while also taking notes, which I use to write an article after the game. In between periods, I edit the content I have taken and post it to social media. After the game, I make my way to the ice for the post-game media scrum. This is where I capture the most content for my article which I begin writing when I get home.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Definitely the fans! I love seeing all the excited fans and how much this league means to them. It’s truly inspiring to see the bright faces of all the young girls who now can have a future playing professional women’s hockey. My favorite is when they have a sign saying “future PWHL player”. The league is a representation of the growth of women’s sport and seeing the amount of fan support behind that is really special.

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