Vibrant! Outgoing! Fun to be around with are just some of the words that come to mind after recently spending time getting to know Julia Stuart, the new face of Monday Night Football on Super Sport.
Having joined SuperSport just over a year ago, Julia has made massive strides at the inter-continental broadcaster and she is not done yet.
Being one of the many voices on Super Sport Blitz, she also is seen around the country during local football matches providing the on-field interviews pre and post matches and recently taken over the social media duties on Monday Night Football discussing all things Barclays Premier League.
To learn more about Julia we managed to get a few minutes out of her busy daily schedule and asked her a few questions.
When and where were you born?
I was born on the Cape Flats in the 1980’s.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be and why?
A dancer! Its’ a far cry from where I ended up but I started ballet when I was 3-years-old and branched out as I got older. On my gap year I taught dance at a camp in the USA. I just figured that’s what I would end up doing, or something in performing arts.
When did you find out you wanted to be a sports journalist?
I was very undecided after leaving school, I wasn’t very academically inclined but I decided to study film and media at UCT and during that time I became involved in the university newspaper, writing football stories for them and the rest is really history. It was a calculated move with the 2010 World Cup on the horizon because I knew there would be scope for female journalists but I really had no idea I would end up in broadcasting and love it this much.
What got you interested in sport?
I was always very athletic at school (I had far too much energy in those days) but one June holidays my mom went overseas and I stayed with my dad. It was a World Cup year and that’s all that was on tv. I became obsessed and the rest is history.
What was your first experience in the world of sport?
At my very first press conference – I started out as a rugby writer for the Daily Voice in Cape Town – a well-known rugby journo screamed at me for standing in the vicinity of his one-on-one interview with then WP coach Kobus van der Merwe. I was already feeling out of place in such a daunting environment and it was the most embarrassing thing. He probably doesn’t remember it but that made me realize if I was going to make it in the media industry I had better toughen up.
Being mainly a football presenter, what other sports would you like to be a presenter of?
I think rugby would be something I’d be interested in because I enjoy the game.
But Formula One presenting must be the most epic because you would get to travel to so many different places over the course of the season.
What has been your greatest moment as a sports presenter to date?
As a sports journalist definitely the 2010 World Cup but as a presenter I would have to say the Nedbank Cup final last year. It was the first time I’ve anchored a studio presentation and it was my first cup final. The noise in the stadium combined with my nerves meant the moment flew by so quickly but I’ll always remember the occasion because it was a fantastic way to end off my first year at SuperSport.
That said, working at the Soweto Derby is something very special too, the atmosphere is unmatched and there’s a chaos and hype surrounding the day that’s memorable and magical.
What do you enjoy doing which does not involve sport?
That’s hard to say because when I’m not working I’m watching games! But when I have the time I love going to the movies and I’m an avid reader in my down time.
Who is Julia Stuart in 5 words?
*All of the above but not all of the time haha
If you can give other ladies a word of advice that would like to become sports presenters what would it be?
This job is not all glitz and glamour, so be prepared to work because a pretty face will only get you so far.
Do your research and always be prepared so that when your chance comes you are ready to grab it.
Rejection is part of the job, get used to it and don’t stop knocking on those doors.
Remember that women in this industry get judged by different standards (still) so you are going to need a thick skin, something I still struggle with.
What is the best fashion advice you could give other ladies from a television point of view?
I’m no fashionista but I do know one thing: don’t wear stripes! Bright colours always look good and it’s important to wear what makes you feel good. If you feel confident and comfortable it will show on screen. But I always think the best thing you can wear on screen or off it is your smile. Cheesy but true.
We wish Julia all the best and thank her for her time spent with us. Follow Julia and what she does here on Twitter.