League Magazine – SAIT Journalism Final Project
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League Magazine – SAIT Journalism Final Project

League Magazine is a project I had an idea for in my first semester of my journalism program. In that semester, I had to create a fictional app and figure out the logistics of it. Through that project, I wanted to get into more fitness and exercise related content. Impact Magazine was also a large inspiration for this project.

 

I met with four people in the field of boxing, three of which are boxing coaches, and the latter a life coach and personal trainer with a love for boxing and kickboxing.

The cover is a picture of Jared Velasquez, owner and head coach of Amplified Athletics, and he also fought as an amateur boxer for many years before getting into coaching. His story was my second big feature, but COVID-19 made photoshoots difficult, so Jared supplied photos for me to use, including this cover.

The table of contents features a lot of made up names, many of which were made on the fly. Our professor said, for consistency’s sake, to have our name on everything. While a little interesting to look at, it is true that the magazine, in it’s entirety, was made by me – with the exception of a handful of photos that were supplied by the subject of a story.

Michael Short inspired this entire magazine as I wanted to learn more about boxing here in Calgary, Alta. He is a public figure, even receiving the title “Mr. Boxing” from the hosts of Sportsnet 960 after appearing on their fighting radio show. Michael was happy to meet me, and he shared a lot of information regarding boxing with me.

 

This was my first real interview as well, since everyone else I had interviewed up to this point I already knew or I was friends with. His story is the lead-off story, with a large photo of him on one page, and the story on the other.

Jared Velasquez was the second story I wrote, and the second interview I conducted. We met at his boxing club during a time that gyms were allowed to remain open, but everyone had to wear masks. It was my first interview conducted entirely with masks on. This story is a profile piece, so it delves into Jared’s upbringing, and then ventures into understanding what boxing will bring for him in the future.

 

I also spoke with Martin Mason, my old boxing instructor, and compatriot to Jared. I reached out for additional quotes for the story, to gain a different angle on Jared. He provided a lot for me, and I was happy to speak with him.

The third piece was a requirement from my instructor, which was a listicle, a article that contains helpful information laid out in a chart or list, usually with pictures. I spoke with George Chen, an up and coming boxing coach in Calgary, and I asked him to go over the boxing stance for this piece.

 

We met in the Sunnyside neighbourhood, and I captured many photos of him going through it. I relied on capturing the stance with the shutterspeed I had, because I wanted his explanation to be natural, so no posing required. I sparred with him a few times, and he has taught me a thing or two about boxing as well. I added an introduction and conclusion to George’s listicle piece on the stance.

The final story for this issue of League Magazine was initially going to be a piece about a local boxer, Bree Howling. I tried to reach her on various platforms (Instagram, email, Facebook), but she was unreachable. I was able to get in touch with her agent, and we even had a time to meet, but she cancelled last second. It was a shame, but I decided to step away from the professional boxer angle and look at it from a lover of boxing perspective, by talking with people that box and enjoy it recreationally.

 

Rebecca Garland is a friend and former boxing participant of my classes, and she was the first person that came to mind for this story. She is very eloquent and knowledgeable with her vocation that she seemed the natural choice. The interview went in a different direction though, as she shared many stories about a man she cared for before he died named Surya Dancing Buddha. She also shared personal details about her overcoming cancer. It was a heart wrenching story, but the moral and lesson from her story were enough for me to change direction and write about these moments with her.

 

While the piece did not end up being fully-related to boxing, it is a story on resilience and perseverance and that is important for any boxer to know.

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