`I want to tell stories': introducing the new Leader-post sports editor
Journalist Taylor Shire recently joined the Regina Leader-post as the new sports editor. We sat down with Taylor to find out a bit more about him and his love for sports and for the city.
Q Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in Regina for?
A I am born and raised in Saskatchewan. I grew up in the small town of Rocanville and moved to Regina after graduation, where I went to the University of Regina's school of journalism. Aside from living in Saskatoon for a year, Regina has been home for the past 14 years.
Q Have you always had a love for sports? And what sparked that interest?
A I grew up at the rink in the winter and the golf course in the summer. Sports was just something I always did. My parents were very supportive and always ensured we were involved in something. And when I was deciding what I wanted in a career, I thought about a job in sports. Unfortunately, I wasn't good enough to play any sports for a living, I decided talking and writing about it would be a close second.
Q What makes you excited about joining the Regina Leader-post?
A I read the paper every day growing up. I believe the L-P has such a respected voice and presence not just in Regina, but provincially. Obviously there are big shoes to fill considering those who have held the position before me, but I am excited to bring my passion for sports directly to our readers. I care as much as you about local sports in our community and I hope that comes across in my writing.
Q Did you play sports growing up?
A Growing up in a small town, we played every sport available to us. From hockey to golf to volleyball and baseball, I was involved in everything. I also got into officiating hockey at a young age and have been doing it since. The last couple of years, I got into coaching youth sports and absolutely love it.
Q When did you first start covering sports as a journalist? Tell us a bit about your career so far.
A My first ever journalism job was a summer contract at the Moosomin World Spectator, just a 15-minute drive from my hometown. Kevin Weedmark was gracious enough to give a kid with no experience — but a passion for journalism — a chance. After getting my journalism degree, I landed a job at the Lethbridge Herald before moving into the television side of things with Global News in Saskatoon.
This time, it was Lisa Ford who believed in me and gave me a chance to be an on-air personality. I would go on to spend 10 years at Global News, including the last nine years covering sports in Regina.
Q What sport do you like covering best? Or do you love them all equally?
A I love all sports and want to cover them all. But I am truly more interested in the athletes than the sport. It doesn't matter
what sport it is, I want to learn more about the person playing the sport and how they got to where they are today.
Q Is there a sports moment in your career so far that stands out?
A Covering the 2013 Grey Cup was a career highlight — not just the game, but the entire season. The Regina Pats playoff run and Memorial Cup host season were also great.
But my favourite part is just connecting with local people in the sports community on a daily basis. Those interactions are what makes this job meaningful to me.
Q How do you handle writing on a team when they may not have a winning record? A My goal is to always be fair. I try to approach each situation
with professionalism and respect. Most athletes understand we have a job to do and at the end of the day, we are all just trying to do our best. I am not going to post hot takes to get clicks but instead to try to provide a fair assessment of the situation (win, loss, firing, et cetera).
Q What are some things you'd like to accomplish as the Sports Editor for the Leader-post?
A I want to tell stories. Anyone can write about Player X scoring three goals in a game, but I want to know how Player X got themselves in the position to score three goals in a game. What adversity did they overcome? What was their road like? Those are the stories I like to read — and therefore write.
Q Are the Riders going to make the playoffs this year?
A The West Division in the CFL is wide opinion. I think Winnipeg is still the top team, but then the Riders, Stamps, Elks and Lions are all right behind. I think we are going to see a ton of parity in the division this year. But yes, I think the Riders will get into the playoffs in the third — or maybe second — spot.