The Human Side of Sports

Hello everyone!  My name is Kayla Santiago and I am 19 years old.  I am a sophomore double majoring in Sports Communication and Media, and Journalism, with a minor in Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

I grew up in a sports household.  The Phillies, Sixers and Eagles were always on the television and I was able to root for them from a young age. Being a die hard fan of Philadelphia is in my blood, but I am more than just a sports fan.  I have the biggest passion for sports and I realized during my junior year of high school that I wanted to make a career out of it. I got lucky that Rowan had the perfect program for me. My freshman year of college, Rowan announced they were having a new Sports Communications and Media major in fall of 2018.  I realized that was the perfect fit for my career goals. I aspire to be a sports commentator with a focus in play by play or color commentating and sideline reporting. I also love the human aspect of sports. A lot of sports fans see sports players as athletes and not humans. I want to help change that stigma and show people that athletes are human too.  

I am currently in Digital Journalism 1  and my assignment was to pick a beat to cover for the semester.  My professor said to choose a topic that I was passionate about and for me that was simple.  I could write a blog about how much I love sports, but I wanted to dig deeper. My blog will be about Rowan Sports, but it won’t just be game stories, it will focus on the humanity in sports.  Over the course of the next few months my blog will show people the human side of sports by focusing on mental health, diversity and inclusion in sport, the balance of being a student and an athlete, and why sports are more than just a game.  I would plan to interview a sports psychologist to see how important mental health is to perform physically well. I would also interview athletes to see what made them start to play the sport and how it affects their lives during the game and outside of the game.  I also plan to follow a student athlete to see how they balance sports, school, family and a social life. The kinds of places I would hope to photograph are the baseball, softball and football fields along with the basketball court. My plan is to get warm up shots of athletes and photographs of them with a symbol that explains their personality outside of sports.  Some of the events that I want to attend in the next month are Rowan Sports games, Rowan athletes volunteering and conferences that reference diversity and inclusion in sport. This topic is important to me because the stigma in sports is that athletes are not seen as human. A lot of people don’t see athletes as humans, but they have feelings and a life outside of sports as well.  I look forward to covering this topic and I hope you all are looking forward to learning about a different side of sports. Follow me on Twitter as I will post my blog posts on my twitter account.

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