Young photographer gains pitch side experience with Premiership Rugby team

  • 5 February 2018

I’ve been Talent Coaching Tate (12) through the Future STEPS programme since November. We have been focusing on developing hobbies and interests, and building confidence. Tate has a big interest in gaming but wanted to find some other interests. We looked at a few options but photography was the one that seemed most important to him. Tate began to take this passion to the next level by quitting playing rugby to be the photographer at his little brother’s rugby matches.

When rugby Premiership side Harlequins FC visited Step by Step in December, they were keen to be more involved with our work. They made arrangements to support the Future STEPS service by offering the opportunity for one young person to be pitch-side shadowing the photographer for the Harlequins V Scarlets game in January.

I was able to surprise Tate with the opportunity, his reaction was priceless. He didn’t know what to say and at first sat there in amazement with the biggest smile on his face. Needless to say he said, “yes”.

Here’s Tate’s account:

“I woke up that morning feeling nervous but also very excited. It’s not every day that you get to do something like going to a professional rugby team’s stadium to be a photographer.”

We left Tate in the capable hands of the professional match day photographer, Steve.

“… we go off without my mum and Brad. After we head off, we see the Harlequins round the side of the building practicing their line outs. Then, we go inside and upstairs to the sponsor boxes for people who work for DHL, Greene King and more of the Harlequins sponsors. After we take pictures of people in the sponsor boxes eating food, we went down to the changing rooms where we saw the player’s shirts and bags. We then went out and saw the players run out onto the pitch with the mascot. As they all ran out, it made me feel a lot smaller compared to all of these big, muscular men all running out right next to me.Then, the game kicked off and I was handed a camera, and told to take pictures of the players doing things in the game. It turned out that at the end of the game, I had more good pictures than I had bad. Even the professional photographer said he was impressed with my skill with a camera. It turned out the Harlequins won 35-7 and I went home with a brand new Harlequins rugby shirt. It was a good day which not many people have the chance to do.I had so much fun and I hope I will have a chance to do something like this again.”

Tate is hoping to be able to go on a photography course in the future.

Brad, Future STEPS Talent Coach