Student-run sports podcast digs out stories

The DugOut features many guest speakers talking about sports in a relaxed manner, as well as a series on women in sport

Trinity is a vibrant and diverse place, home to all kinds of creatives and creators. But there are some who go above and beyond. The DugOut podcast is a sports show run entirely by Trinity students. Releasing new episodes every week, dedicated podcasters and sports fanatics Cameron Hill, Conor Doyle, Charlie Giese, and Keith Kelly talk about everything from sports rivalries to their latest Coronavirus opinions. It’s admirable how they are able to make hours’ worth of content on a consistent basis, and their growing following shows that they really are worth listening to.

Hill, the podcast’s founder, was able to shed some light on how it was inspired and got up and running. He’s always had a “deep passion for podcasting” and even began volunteering at his local radio station. Doing a few music shows here and there was not enough for him, so he says, “In second year, I really wanted to do a sports show. I cobbled together a few of my like-minded friends and we began producing the DugOut every week”.

“I think when we started, I was under the impression that it was just a bit of craic, but Cameron was always very serious about making something successful,” remarks Giese. He says that the show was inspired by a lot of great sports talk shows, like Off the Ball and Second Captains.

Doyle, who became a full member of the DugOut team last year, says that “Cameron was the brain of the operation and asked me on the podcast in the lead up to the 2019 Six Nations.” Doyle is a self-proclaimed “rugby nut”, which becomes clear after listening to only a couple of episodes of the podcast.

The team’s diversity of views on everything from football to rugby serves for some good moments and laughs. “Our different sporting rivalries mean that there is always time for a few cheap shots. I’m an Arsenal fan and with Charlie being a Chelsea fan and Keith following Spurs, there is a lot of banter about who’s the best team in London,” says Doyle.

“As nothing like this has ever been done before in Trinity, the DugOut is really paving its way as a sports show.”

While there are plenty of light-hearted moments, the show does have some serious goals. Hill says, “I suppose our real goal is to be a forum for the discussion of sport in Trinity. With podcasts, you’re not just a fly on the wall, you genuinely feel part of the discussion”. As nothing like this has ever been done before in Trinity, the DugOut is really paving its way as a sports show. Giese even admits that they are hoping to win the overall prize at the YAP student podcast awards.

The show regularly includes some impressive guests, such as Joy Neville, ex-Ireland rugby international and now elite referee. Specifically, Extra Time is a series that focuses on women in sport. “The Extra Time podcast has been a really interesting project to be a part of,” explains Doyle. While the main show has had its fair share of interviews, they tend to be more jovial and blithe. Extra Time provides a more serious forum to talk specifically about the “opportunities and challenges involved in achieving gender parity in sport”, as the bio of the show puts it.

The most recent guest of Extra Time, Sarah Colgan, is the co-founder of the 20×20 initiative. This project was born in October 2018 and was the first of its kind in Ireland. It works to focus on the cultural shift in the country to be one where “women in sport are seen as strong, valuable, and worth celebrating”. Hill interviewed her at length about the project and how it has coped with the global pandemic situation. Colgan says in the episode about the birth of the initiative that “20×20 was started with a mission to change our culture in terms of the Irish mindset that has been so deeply embedded for so long around girls and boys or men and women when it comes to sport”.

“Hill and the other members of the DugOut team conduct insightful interviews with guests similar in stature to Colgan in a variety of fields.”

Hill and the other members of the DugOut team conduct insightful interviews with guests similar in stature to Colgan in a variety of fields. Some other noteworthy guests include Irish professional football player Rianna Jarrett and former Ireland women’s rugby union international Nora Stapleton. They also have had shows with interviews of fellow Trinity students, including Trinity Women’s Soccer Captain Frannie Smith.

“I think the best show we’ve done was our International Women’s Week episode on TFM last year,” says Hill of their interview with Smith. “The chemistry between the contributors was phenomenal.” Clearly he was not the only one to have enjoyed this show in particular, as they went on to win an award for it. He’s most proud of the hugely positive response they received from it though: “Some agreed with what we had to say, some were very critical, but when you get a reaction like that, it demonstrates that you’ve said or done something that really matters.” Following on from the overwhelming success of that episode, they began the regular series on women in sport.

“Undeniably, all of these sports fanatics have some passionate views that make for good content.”

While sports can sometimes be dense and hard to follow in the media for those who aren’t already dedicated fans, podcasts like the DugOut offer the perfect avenue to hear an accessible discussion about your favorite teams and players. Undeniably, all of these sports fanatics have some passionate views that make for good content.

“We try to keep it quite accessible to newcomers by focusing on interesting stories and generally highlighting just how strange sports can be sometimes!” Hill says. Even if you are not an avid sports fan, many topics are covered in each episode that make it worth listening to.

The show has still been releasing episodes frequently, and continued to do so during the nationwide lockdown. There is no doubt about the members’ dedication to creating content despite some rather challenging obstacles.

The DugOut publishes episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Podomatic. The best way to follow the activity of the show is on “The DugOut Podcast” Facebook page. They are also on Instagram as well, and they have just begun releasing content on YouTube.

Whether you are looking for something to listen to while during your commute or trip to the shop, or happen to be a sports fanatic yourself, the DugOut is definitely the show to tune into to offer some entertainment during a time when sports are at a standstill.

Shannon McGreevy

Shannon McGreevy is the Online Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Biochemistry.