Thank you The Concordian

Closing on a great chapter with The Concordian

I had always been told that getting experience in journalism was important before finishing university and trying to find a job. My time with The Concordian these last two-and-a-half years has been one of the best experiences I could hope for as an aspiring sports journalist.

During my first semester at Concordia University, I attended a conference in which The Concordian’s team at the time spoke to us about the paper. Nicholas Di Giovanni, sports editor at the time, talked about the sports section of the newspaper and how to get involved.

It didn’t take long for me to start covering Concordia Stingers games and writing articles for The Concordian. I saw an opportunity to share my passion for sports with everyone. I was lucky enough to quickly be offered the assistant sports editor position in my first semester on campus, and for that, I want to thank Di Giovanni.

His trust, but also his help and time during my first year with The Concordian, is something I can’t put into words. I don’t know what exactly he saw in me, but by giving me this role, he helped me start a great chapter with The Concordian.

To have the chance to cover Stingers games and interview athletes and coaches has been something really special. It was especially unique during that first year as assistant sports editor, since I wasn’t doing a lot of sports interviews on a regular basis.

It was no surprise I would apply for the sports editor position in my second year. I didn’t get the role, as I remained assistant, but it ended up being the best thing for me. This time, I was working with Matthew Ohayon.

To have two different editors in two years with the team was really helpful. It showed me different working methods and made me learn even more. I quickly realized that there are so many ways to approach things and work with stories.

I think it really helped me with who I am today, writing this last piece as sports editor of The Concordian. When I applied for the role again, in my third year, I was way more ready for this position than I was when I applied at the beginning of my second.

I’m not saying you should not apply for an editor position in your first two years. However, you should not be ashamed at all of being in an assistant role for consecutive years. After all, I would be lying if I told you that my goal, when starting out with The Concordian, wasn’t to end up leading the sports section one day.

I was looking forward to writing weekly Colour Commentary pieces, deciding pitches and learning even more things again this year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing me to look at things a bit differently than I imagined them, it’s been a wonderful experience.

I’ve been blessed to have Liam Sharp as assistant sports editor. In his first year with The Concordian, Sharp has brought some of the most original stories I’ve seen for our sports section since I joined the staff. He’s behaved like he’s been on the team for a few years now. For that, I thank you my friend. Your dedication and professionalism have been remarkable all year long.

I can’t believe it’s already been two-and-a-half years since I joined the team. I also can’t believe those are the last words I’m writing for The Concordian. I wish there were more stories to write so I could ask more grammar and structure questions to my copy editor friend Abigail Candelora.

To be honest, I’ve probably been asking questions every week to the copy editing team. For that, I want to say thank you, but also sorry. I owe you all a coffee when we finally can meet in person.

To this year’s staff, you’ve been amazing. I’ve never seen such an amazing group of people, full of energy and willing to share ideas each week. It’s amazing to think we’ve never met, because it feels like that’s not the case. This has been a really special group. I’m not the one who always talks or gives his opinion, but I’ve always felt included in everything. I’ve always felt like everyone was part of the team and important.

To Lillian Roy, Chloë Lalonde and Jacob Carey, a huge thank you. Please, never change, because you truly are great people. You treated us all fairly and have always been there when there was a problem. As leaders of The Concordian for this academic year, I could not have asked for anyone better.

On that, it’s a wrap folks. Don’t forget the Montreal Canadiens play the Calgary Flames tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Bell Centre. For my part, I’m probably going to be on a tennis court as usual. See ya.


Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion


An unforgettable first year at The Concordian

A recap of my first year as Assistant Sports Editor

In my first year at Concordia University, I got out of my comfort zone more than ever before, and I was determined to keep the ball rolling during the 2020–21 academic year.

When I found out last summer that I would be the Assistant Sports Editor at The Concordian, I was happy, but simultaneously worried, because I had no clue how sports would be operating down the line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have always kept tabs on professional sports leagues, but I was thrilled to get an opportunity to bring a similar level of enthusiasm to collegiate sports prior to the pandemic in the form of Concordia Stinger profiles, game recaps, interviews with coaches, and much more.

Leading up to the opening weeks of school, I spent weeks mentally preparing myself for the challenges ahead, like how a kid playing basketball alone in the backyard might envision game scenarios and buzzer-beaters in immaculate detail. But when the spotlight was on, and it was time to produce the stories I had mentally built up, I was stumped for ideas.

Suddenly, there was “nothing” to write about.

Everyone on the publication staff helped me at some point — but none more than Alec Brideau, The Concordian’s Sports Editor. He pointed someone like me, a deer in the headlights for most of the year, in the right direction on a near-daily basis. When I had questions, be it about life or work, he was responsive, supportive, and friendly.

After a couple of weeks of trial and error, things started to settle down as I slowly but surely got habitual with the pitching, writing, and editing routines. Stories were becoming easier to come by, and I was relying less on the default pitches that pertained to collegiate and professional sports.

What was at first a bitter notion became a blessing over time — I eventually took immense pride in writing stories on businesses and people that would never have gotten sports media attention in a normal year.

I embraced the idea of branching out to include Esports, and I am grateful to The Concordian’s staff for having an open mind to the idea. In writing about the lives of streamers and covering international Esports tournaments, I realized how enormous the gaming industry is and how much room it has to grow.

Talking to business owners that were struck hard by the pandemic was a sobering process that often left me grateful for the little things. Meanwhile, covering the more fortunate businesses that are benefiting from these exceptional times was enlightening for me as an emerging sportswriter.

One of the many things I learned through two years in J-school is that the world is full of worthwhile stories and interesting people to write about. During my time with The Concordian, I realized that finding stories is an acquired taste that develops through experience and impartiality.

To the entire editorial and management staff that helped turn my raw ideas into full-fledged stories, words cannot express how grateful I truly am for the guidance. I only regret the fact we never got the chance to meet in person.

Brideau was a magnificent mentor that balanced everything to a tee. He kept me coordinated and held me accountable during a hectic year.

In hindsight, I could not have asked for a better overall learning experience, and I look forward to what lies ahead.


Graphic by Lily Cowper


Writing about sports in a year without them

I wasn’t expecting my first year as Sports Editor to look like this

My experience with The Concordian these last two and a half years has probably been the best thing that has happened to me since starting university.

As a huge sports fan, I‘m always looking to share my passion with people, and quickly got the chance to do so when I was offered the Assistant Sports Editor position in my first year on campus. I started covering Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) games, interviewing athletes and coaches, and had to look for a story to write about each week.

After two years in that position, I applied for the Sports Editor role. I was lucky enough to get it, and embrace this new challenge in front of me. I would be lying if I told you that my goal, when starting out with The Concordian, wasn’t to end up leading the sports section one day.

I was looking forward to learning all the duties of the Sports Editor position, and getting experience in that position for later. I was excited about the fact I would be the one deciding which Concordia Stingers games we would be covering each week as well.

However, this challenge came with a second one: I was going to write about sports in a year where there practically wasn’t any. COVID-19 forced most sports leagues to cancel or postpone their seasons and playoffs, and I was therefore stuck with an interesting problem at hand.

What was I going to write about? For me, there was no way I was only going to give COVID-19 updates for the different sports leagues and events. I was also wondering about my weekly Colour Commentary piece, where I would usually give thoughts on relevant or important things that happened recently in the world of sports.

Despite all that — and, of course, a bit of sadness at first — this has been one of the most enriching experiences of my time at Concordia. From ways to stay active from home to online competition stories, I quickly learned that you can find sports stories everywhere. The Concordian’s staff, especially our Creative Director Chloë Lalonde, have been doing a great job to help me find ideas. The challenge of writing for sports during the pandemic made me realize I sometimes had to get out of my comfort zone, which is actually what you need to do if you want to succeed.

My Assistant Sports Editor Liam Sharp has literally exceeded every expectation I had. In his first year with The Concordian, he’s brought some of the most original stories I’ve seen for our sports section since I joined the staff. That shows how much you can find stories even without the Stingers or major sports leagues filling out your section. Having learned all of this, if I ever had to restart my year as Sports Editor, but without the pandemic, I’d definitely  make sure to write more often articles that differ from what we’re used to reading. Try new things, and be open to ideas —  that’s probably what I’ll retain the most from these past months, and that’s something I’d suggest everyone to do.


Graphic by Lily Cowper

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