We recently had the opportunity of interviewing one of South Africa’s most promising Sports broadcasters, Andrew Hope from SuperSport Blitz and UJFM fame.
The young man from Johannesburg who has risen to the top in only 6 years has already won four MTN Radio Awards that includes three for Best Sports Show and one for Best Sports Presenter all in the space of three years and now is nominated for another two big awards at the upcoming Gauteng Sports Awards.
His love for sport has no boundaries and it all started at a very tender age. In fact he reckons his love for sport ignited immediately after exiting the womb.
“My Dad, who was born in Manchester, played professional football and his broad knowledge rubbed off on me from the outset, especially with football and cricket. I was five-years-old when I started playing club football and was a solid centre half with a powerful left boot. I have also been involved with rugby, cricket and athletics. I developed a massive passion for golf at eight-years-old, and continue to play the game, as well as football” he said.
As mentioned Andrew is an avid fan of most sporting codes and due to this sport became a part of his lifestyle, almost a religion as he had put it. This was part of the cause to him becoming involved in the broadcasting world. “I knew I was going to be involved in sport somehow, and decided to try my hand at broadcasting as people had always complimented me on my voice and knowledge of sport. During my third year of studies in 2008, I decided to try my hand at broadcasting, and was appointed as a sport presenter after auditioning at UJFM 95.4.”
“In 2009 I co-hosted UJFM’s breakfast show and anchored sport at the same time. A “legend” of radio broadcasting, who listened to the show, sent my profile to SuperSport International. I received a call within a week and was asked to audition. I have been at Blitz since August 2009,” he continued.
In 2011 Andrew got his “big break” so to speak when he got his own show to anchor and host on UJFM, ““The Sports Network with Andrew Hope” airs live every Tuesday, 18h00-19h00, on UJFM 95.4. The show features high-profiled athletes and analysts, and aims to empower all sporting codes. The stand out element is the ability to get to know “the true person behind each personality.” Guests are encouraged to speak freely about their backgrounds and careers, in hope that their experiences will inspire a future generation of sporting talent in South Africa.”
Working in the broadcast media a person gets to experience some great moments and meet wonderful people and working on radio and at SuperSport Blitz Andrew has had some memorable moments himself, “I have been fortunate to cover many big events with SuperSport and various radio stations. For Blitz, I covered the opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico, and will never forget the moment Siphiwe Tshabala equalised. But being in London for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is the standout moment.”
In this industry one has to have an open personality due to the nature of the work as well as the diversity of people one works with at any given time. We were interested to find out what makes Andrew unique in his own special way. “I am very passionate individual just like most avid fans of sport. But I am a genuine person who won’t cheat a listener or viewer out of a credible product. I see the studio as my stadium, and subsequently my performance needs to be upheld,” he told us.
Interviewing athletes from different sporting codes on a regular basis has given Andrew insight to how these people handle the media and he felt that things could be much different if they used the media in a more positive way, “Without a doubt! Many of them are overpowered by their egos and are impossible to speak to. Our sportsmen and women must realise that a career is only so long, so while playing sport at the highest level, they should be doing more, especially with the media.”
Featuring regularly on 94.7 Highveld Stereo and Talk Radio 702 has helped raised Mr Hope’s profile and aspirations but he still has more dreams when it comes to the world of broadcasting, “I would love to hold down sport on a commercial radio drive show and take my sports show to a bigger platform. Covering golf for a living is also a dream.”
Lastly, what does the future have in store for Andrew Hope? “A lot more followers on twitter (he laughs)… but on a serious note, I am one of the most dynamic journalists and broadcasters so there will always be “Hope.”
To follow Andrew and see what he gets up to, make sure to add him to your Twitter and Instagram feeds on @AndrewHopesport
We wish Andrew all the best with his two nominations at the upcoming Gauteng Sports Awards on 7 June. The nominations are for Sports Journalist of The Year and Sports Programme of The Year and to help Andrew’s show take first prize you can vote for him by sending an SMS with the following: GSA PROGRAMME THESPORTSNETWORK to 33525.
Voting closes an hour before the ceremony, which will be aired LIVE on e-TV.