By UTSAV GUPTA
A group of students from Niagara College’s School of Media Studies is gearing up to broadcast and report the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship around the globe this week.
Students and graduates of the Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) and Journalism programs will handle both the production and on-air parts of the broadcasting and reporting the international competition.
“We’ve on site our high-definition mobile production truck with around 40 crew members,” says Peter VandenBerg, television production professor, and BRTF co-ordinator.
“There will be two people at every spot because there are so many games and we’ll be covering three to four games per day and 21 games in total, of which 17 are going to be live.
“We’ll have cameras from traditional game cam coverage type follow, several replay angles, handheld cameras on the glass, cameras in the penalty box and four channels of replay.”
“Students are also working on professional National Hockey League audio setup with Andrew Stoakley, who is a great supporter of our program.”
“Everything you see here online on the hockeycanada.ca as well as the thousands of fans here and all of the stuff on the Jumbotron, they’re going to see everything produced from our truck.”
Their work will be featured on Hockey Canada’s website, hockeycanada.ca.
The championship marks one of the best opportunities the program has ever had.
“Participating in a high-calibre event like this closes the gap between student and professional,” adds VandenBerg.
Students in the Journalism program will also have a unique learning opportunity, as they will file games stories, features and videos at various stages of the championship.
Their work will be featured on niagara-news.com, as well as in a special section of the print version of Niagara News, both produced by Journalism students.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our journalism students to work alongside professional journalists and international media,” says Journalism professor and program co-ordinator Charles Kopun.
“They’ll be reporting live and in real time, filing stories, photos and video online. It’s invaluable experience and a great chance for networking.”
Spencer Tanguay, a BRTF student, says he didn’t expect this opportunity coming his way in his college career.
“It is good to see Niagara College and the community be involved in this and get recognized and support the tournaments like this to get our name on the map,” says Tanguay.
When approached by VandenBerg, Tanguay thought he was joking at first and he didn’t realize Niagara College could do something at this level.
“The Sports Network (TSN) usually covers all the games but they are only coming for the gold medal game so we have big boots to fill.”
He adds, “The country will be looking down on us because they’re going to watch it online so when they see the Niagara College producing some of this, it will be very big for us.”
Jeremy Hogel, one of the students working in the crew, says, “Not every school is going to offer something as grand as the worldwide tournament like this.”
“It’s a lot of hard work but you can’t compare this opportunity to anything else.”
“The amount of audio that we’re putting into this is just insane. It is going to sound just like it sounds when you watch a [Toronto Maple] Leafs’ game.
“A lot of cables are involved. I think it will end up being over a thousand metres of cables.”
Matt Hill, general manager of 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship, says, “We’re very grateful for the expertise that Niagara College’s students, grads and faculty have brought to this event – they’ll play a significant role in bringing this event to the world.”
Eight teams will be the part of the championship taking place in the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines: Canada, France, Russia, United States, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Sweden.
The teams are divided into two, four-team groups with the top four seeded teams in Group A and the rest in Group B.
Niagara College is also one of the major sponsors of the event.