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Discovering the Community: Ian Ramsdale of Rugby League Down South

Rugby is one of those rare sports that crosses borders and cultures, and Ian Ramsdale successfully brings rugby from the south of England to the ears of thousands of listeners through Rugby League Down South. He spoke to us about his passion for the sport and the how the show came to be and grow.

Do you mind introducing yourselves?

I’m a sports presenter and producer, who has worked for a number of TV and radio stations in the UK. In recent years I’ve been covering rugby league as my main sport. I began making a programme covering the sport in London, which was on the BBC, but schedule changes meant I now do a podcast independently, and include all the teams across the south of England.

When did your passion for rugby begin?

I began covering rugby league in 2007. I’d always been a fan of the sport, and played it at school, during my education.

When and why did you decide to turn your passion to podcasting?

Podcasting is a perfect way of getting the stories out there. I’m quite lazy, in that I like to be told stuff. I try to read as much as I can, but I prefer the spoken medium. With the changes recently to coverage of the sport in the region I like, a podcast was the best way to continue to share the stories, teams and news.

The medium works really well for you, too. The show Rugby League Down South has just begun; what can listeners look forward to?

We cover any teams, stories and events, involving rugby league teams in the south of England, including interviews, discussions and information. It’s heavily interview and feature-based, at the moment, and I try not to talk in too much detail about the games and results themselves – as that information is already out there. I want to provide extra stories, different analyses and features associtated with the games. For me, it’s much more interesting and unique, that way. My aim is to make it more of a discussion programme with feature interviews as a part of it. That’s all about finding the right studio to use as the podcast gets more popular.

We’re sure they will. You’ll be having quite a few interviews coming up as well. How do you organize them?

I’m a spreadsheet fanatic. There’s nothing I can’t do with a spreadsheet. I also am continually shifting ’round my online electronic diary.

Why did you come to Spreaker?

A friend had used it, and I heard their podcast. When I looked and it was free, it was a no brainer. I wanted the podcast syndicated with iTunes, and so with you offering an RSS feed, it was simple.

Can you give us any predictions on the games?

The only thing you can say is that the games are entertaining and competitive. If they were predictable, the sport wouldn’t be as popular as it is. It’s a great spectacle and – as much as I don’t specifically talk about detailed action in the podcast – it’s such a good product.

Do you rely on social networking very much?

Social networking is the only way that I can currently get the podcast “advertised”. It’s so crucial to getting the word out there, and with it being an online product, it’s synonymous with the audience of the programme, too.

Has this podcast helped you personally or professionally?

Both really. It’s great for me to upkeep the coverage, contacts and content. But also, having to arrange the podcast recordings around my busy working schedule, it’s a challenge from which I’m learning a lot from.

Thanks Ian, great interview!

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