Readers write, and we reply
Local coverage is what we do, and that includes covering sports
Here is some recent correspondence between a Spectator reader and our Sports editor, Jeff Day. It was intended as a letter to the editor, but it also illustrates what I so often see: readers are often critical of newspapers without always being aware of just what we do: Dear Editor: It is a shame and somewhat embarrassing that our local sports scene is quite impressive and so top notch but yet our hometown newspaper does not cover much, if at all, any of it.
Our city is home to a university that has several teams each season ranked in the top 10, in fact, several of their current winter sports teams are ranked as some of the best teams in Canada, yet I never get to see any coverage of these great Mac teams. Our sports writers can fill columns and pages about amateur hockey and the Bulldogs or Ticats but our local sports teams are just as deserving.
As for our local high school sports, the city of Hamilton has some of the best teams and individual athletes in the country. Our own local paper should recognize this and want to write about our local athletes and their accomplishments.
I would like to give high praise to Cecilia Carter-Smith. It is nice to read on the weekends her coverage of local athletes excelling in their individual university sports. However, that is the only consistent praise or acknowledgement we have for our local athletes. One day and one column is not enough.
I can recall my years i n high school in the 80s, we had a representative from the Spectator attend and cover all the high school sports events and you could read about the results the next day in the paper. It’s time we get back to praising these local athletes, teams and our impressive local university athletics. And Jeff ’s response: Dear Reader: I was more than a little intrigued not only with what you said, but when you decided to say it.
Last week, the Sports section of the newspaper featured everything you were mentioning, every day.
We had pictures of Girls Hockey Day in Hamilton and a column about getting young children into hockey through the First Shift program on Monday, a lovely column and photos on the B’nai B’rith Sports Celebrity Dinner that honours local athletes on Tuesday, a column about a McMaster University wrestler on Wednesday, a story on local soccer supporters and a preview of a local high school basketball tournament on Thursday, a story and two photos of that high school tournament and how a local hockey player raised $3,000 on Let’s Talk Day on Friday, and a story on the finalists for the Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year and another story and two photos on the Silver Fox basketball story on Saturday.
That doesn’t include the daily coverage we had on our two main local teams, the Tiger-Cats and the Bulldogs. And we do that every week. Our reporters and columnists only write about local teams and athletes and our mandate is to feature it on the front page of the Sports section every day.
We agree Hamilton has an amazing local sports scene. We love covering it.