Friday, December 1, 2023

Irish journalist recognised for hockey coverage

Irish journalist Stephen Findlater has been announced as the recipient of the Graham Wilson Award, presented annually for outstanding services to hockey journalism by the Hockey Writers’ Club.

The award is in memory of Graham Wilson, the long-serving UK Daily Express correspondent who died in 2016. He was also chairman of the Hockey Writers’ Club.

Findlater has been recognised following his long-serving dedication to the sport and the coverage he has achieved over the years, notably with Irish and European hockey.

“I am thrilled to receive this award from my contemporaries from the hockey writers world,” said Findlater. “In common with all facets of our hockey family, our media realm is small and tight knit but there is a real camaraderie between those of us who get the privilege to work frequently at international events.

“It is a big highlight of my year getting together at those events, sharing war stories from other events and getting the scoop on what is the going concern in the different corners of the game. Thank you so much for this award which I truly cherish.”

Findlater’s first hockey-journalism work came aged 12, producing an eight-page newsletter each week for the youth section of his club, Three Rock Rovers. He won his school’s Young Entrepreneur Scheme award as a result.

He went into journalism full-time a decade later. He launched The Hook in 2007 which ran until 2021 and covered Irish hockey extensively. 

On a wider scale, he covered international tournaments for three broadsheets, the Irish Times (2007 to 2022), Irish Examiner (2009 to 2022) and Irish Independent (2018 to 2022). 

Last year he was trusted to tell Pater Caruth’s story last year as he became the first Irish male Olympian to come out as gay.

He is also the Euro Hockey League’s media officer, a position he has held since 2015 and has been European Hockey Federation’s communications manager since September 2022.

“I find myself in one of the rarest positions in hockey journalism, having been able to pursue it as a primary part of my working life for the guts of 15 years, covering my passion and getting strong publicity for the game in some major outlets along the way,” he added.  

“It is a privilege not many of my excellent contemporaries get around the world and I very much see it as a privilege – to have attended, reported and showcased hockey in some of the most diverse and elite competitions! I am missing the cut and thrust of the journalistic side since moving more formally into the EHF communications role but I will certainly be in and around press rooms for a good while to come!”

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