In this installment of the Women In Sports series, I interview Savanah Matney, who currently works with Marshall University Athletics and has worked in virtually every sector of the sports industry to some extent.
“I’ve worked for a radio station — producing things, doing things behind the scenes in a studio. Then I started doing things on-site — things with stats. Then I got moved up to being a sideline reporter and then I started calling games a little bit,” she said.
But her experience and dabbling doesn’t end there.
“I also did a bunch of different feature packages and stories that won a bunch of awards. I also did Wednesday night sports shows. They were thirty-minute shows where we interviewed different athletes,” she said. “I also worked for our streaming channel for about a year, doing camera operation and things related to graphics for that. I interned with our communications department. That was partially in an effort to do more things in front of the camera instead of just behind the camera.”
Savanah Matney takes stock of her career during unprecedented circumstances
Savanah Matney originally planned to do more things on-camera this past fall, but safety restrictions made that nearly impossible to accomplish in the way she envisioned it.
“I wasn’t really able to do as much, because what I was used to and had done before was going down on the field and interviewing people before or during halftime,” she said. “So, the limited access that we had to the field and the fact we couldn’t really interview anybody made that harder. I started interning with our sports information department, which is where I’m at now after I graduated.”
Still, her primary goal is to continue pursuing a career in sideline reporting. That doesn’t mean she hasn’t found a stronghold and passion for several other things in sports, though.
“The end goal originally was to be a sideline reporter in the NBA or for football. But the further I’ve gone along, the more interest I’ve found in social media. I think I would really like to run social media for an organization or an athlete. In sports information, I’ve also found that I really like the statistical side of things as well. It’s up in the air right now, but I think sideline reporter is probably still my top option.”
Savanah Matney’s bouts with anxiety and breaking through to the other side
It’s been far from easygoing for Savanah Matney throughout her career. She says that she dealt with severe anxiety in her sophomore year of college to a point that she quit all extracurricular activities, including her sports jobs.
The feeling of being looked down upon because she was one of the only females played a role in that.
“As one of the only females here that was heavily involved, I was having some issues with some of the guys I worked with. I was not in the headspace where I could be there and so I took a whole year off,” she said. “Luckily most of the guys that were an issue had gone in that time. So, I guess you could say some of the sexism went away with that. Coming back, I think I just fell in love with it again. I had to quit to know it was what I wanted to do for sure. There’s no place I’d rather be.”
Keeping an open mind
Savanah Matney looks to continue furthering her own career, regardless of where she ultimately ends up. She also hopes to see the the women in sports movement gain more consistent traction.
“I think it should be common sense that women have a place in sports. I have been lucky enough so far to not have experiences to the level of detriment that some other women in the industry have had. Supporting women in sports should be a constant, not just bringing attention to it on social media only when something big happens.”
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