Nike Australia and TDA renew The Training Squad accelerator for young female sports creators


Following the success of the 2023 initiative, Nike Australia and The Daily Aus (TDA) have announced an extension of The Training Squad program, which aims to help young female and gender diverse sports journalists to enter the professional field.

Inspired by Nike’s commitment to create gender equity in sport, and TDA’s wide reach and expertise in digital media and journalism, the 10-week program is designed to provide five inspiring female and gender diverse journalists with the tools, connections and confidence they need to build a career in sports media.

With a particular focus on helping participants harness their digital storytelling skills, the program aims to foster the next generation of Gen Z sports journalists who create their own communities, foster creativity, spark conversation, and enable co-creation to serve digital-first audiences.

Over the training program, participants will hear from expert journalists within The Daily Aus news team, and broader sports journalism landscape and gain access to some of Nike’s industry-leading sports and fitness storytellers, trainers, and product experts. They will also have opportunities to sharpen their skills whilst attending and reporting on live sporting events.

The renewal comes on the back of the successful 2023 program, with alumni having gone on to positions in broadcast television, content production for major sports tournaments and social media management and production for leading sports organisations.

Speaking of her experience, 2023 program participant Maddie Date said “This program gave us a chance – which isn’t what a lot of people do these days. It seems kind of daunting for a business to take in a couple of rookie gals and train them up, but TDA and Nike had that vision.

“It has given me the extra drive to achieve what I really want to and has removed any self-doubt I had those months ago. I’m now also connected to some amazing young journos. These ladies are definitely going to be my friends in the industry for a long time”

A study released earlier this year revealed that even with the momentum behind women’s sport, there is still an underrepresentation of women’s opportunities as journalists or presenters of sports with only 27% of sports stories are written by women and only 17% of sporting commentary is by female voices. Women were also significantly less likely (17%) to be a source of comment on sport in the media than men (83%).

The Training Squad aims to address this gender imbalance in sports journalism by providing emerging female* journalists the support and opportunities to break into the industry, enabling more women* to contribute their voices to the sporting conversation.

Speaking on the renewal, TDA co-founder Sam Koslowski said “We are so proud of what we were able to achieve with the first round of this program. Our aim has always been to provide the next generation with the tools, connections, and confidence to grow their careers and we can’t wait to invite the next cohort of participants in!

“We are committed to offering the personalised support from top media operators and leaders who will help them navigate the media world with confidence, and will know we’ve done a good job when we look at who makes up the Australian sports media landscape over the next decade ”

Abbey Wirth, Nike Pacific Communications Lead added: “Women and girls are leading positive change in sport, creating space for even more young people to see themselves represented. At Nike, this drives us to think bigger to grow women’s sport, support the work towards equality, foster ambition and remove barriers, not only for those on the field, but those reporting on it.

 “To see the first years’ cohort go on to see success with some dream media roles is testament to the program with TDA. We look forward to continuing to see the sports journalists, content creators, and presenters of the future come through this Squad.”

The Training Squad is now accepting applications from female journalists aged 18-35 across Australia passionate about sports journalism and ready to take the next step in their careers. You can apply here.

For follow up questions or interview opportunities related to this press release please contact [email protected]

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