After I tore my ACL during a basketball game in grade 12, I saw my soccer career vanish. Playing a sport gave me my identity, and instantly in that game I lost it. But I knew I still had a desire to be on a team, to utilize my skills, to gain back my self-worth and self-confidence. I knew there had to be an alternative.
Luckily, I found it in Rams Live. I’m now in my first year of studying media production, and I volunteer with RAMS Live multiple times a month, along with a crew of people to broadcast Ryerson Rams Varsity athletics. The objective is to replicate sport broadcasting like SportsNet for students to gain experience.
There are various roles open for RTA students to fill, ranging from camera operator, audio assistant, replay operator to camera control operator. All the volunteering goes towards our creative practice hours, which we need to complete in order to graduate.
On that day, Friday, Feb. 9, the Ryerson Rams were playing against the Guelph Gryphons in men’s hockey. We started off with our usual team chat, where we introduce ourselves and receive expectations on how the game should be broadcast from the producer.
We then broke up into smaller groups, to cover each section. Audio cables are set up for the commentators. Cameras are positioned carefully for the best view for the audience.
I fit best in the control room as a replay or audio assistant. In replay, I enjoy watching the “unexpected” turn of events in a game. Like in hockey, I have to lookout for fouls, goals or fans cheering to quickly rewind and replay the action slowly for commentators to analyze. The audio assistant typically set up the audio for the commentators, set mic levels and overall makes sure audio transfers back to the live broadcast. I can see the game from multiple angles. Like a goalkeeper, you see the whole field and have to prepare for the worst.
In a game, Rams Live is the third team. It’s the team overcoming the challenges of technical difficulties, battling time and the game, instead of playing on the court. We make Ryerson athletics accessible for the fans, parents and athletes. For me, it’s great going home knowing that I accomplished all this, even if nobody is acknowledging my abilities. By joining this team, I’ve managed to regain my sense of value and identity again.
“Sportsnet RTA Production Centre” where the control room is located in the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Sony camera setup, looking at a birds’ eye view of the rink.
Fourth-year student Kyle Van Zeumeren teaches new volunteers how to operate the CCU (Camera Control Unit).
Maddy Harris, producer, wearing a headset to communicate instructions to the crew and commentators.
Alec Reid operating the Sony camera.
Maddy Harris, Margaret Brough, Jared Gosson, Adam Chorazyczewski and Richard Coffey watching attentively to the first period of the men’s hockey game between the Ryerson Rams and the Guelph Gryphons.
Play-by-play commentator, Victor Findlay (left) and Colour Commentator, Juan Morales (right) in front of the camera, analyzing the teams in the pregame show.