Beat Writers: The Pulse of UCLA Club Sports

Look around you. Our campus is filled with incredibly hard working students, staff, faculty, and world-class athletes. If you’re lucky, you may even spot an Olympian or two causally sitting in one of your lecture halls, or a MacArthur Fellow teaching one of your classes.

My point is this: UCLA’s hyper-competitive nature gives it its edge. By creating an atmosphere where students challenge one another and pull each other up, UCLA cultivates success. It breeds Nobel Prize laureates and gold medalists, Grammy award winners and NCAA champions. Its students are successful because they grow and mold in an environment that fosters healthy competition in all fields and at all levels.

But sometimes, the game gets exhausting. We want a break from the endless competitions, and we want to sit back, relax, and admire those around us instead. A win for UCLA is a win for everyone associated with UCLA, and it’s exciting to share that. Ever wonder who wrote those articles you see on your Facebook feed, or in the Daily Bruin, praising fellow Bruins? Other fellow Bruins! One such program that follows and writes articles about UCLA sports is the UCLA Club Sports Beat Writers program.

The Beat Writers program at UCLA is a relatively new student run organization, but is one of few of its kind and caliber compared to other top universities. Amit Nainani, a 4th year sociology major, made the transition from Daily Bruin writer to Beat Writer during his sophomore year. As a Beat Writer, Amit gets assigned to cover different UCLA club sports at their home tournaments or games, ranging from Men’s Rugby to figure skating. He writes about the wins, the losses, and everything in between.

As a Beat Writer, he interviews players and coaches to get the inside scoop on the game, asking questions about big plays, commenting on team chemistry, and promoting upcoming events for the team. They’re called Beat Writers because they are the “pulse of the club,” having established a rapport with the athletes so they feel comfortable doing interviews. Besides writing articles, Amit and the four other Beat Writers in the program serve as photographers and videographers, occasionally live streaming important games or tournaments so that out-of-state friends and families may tune in and support.

So what does it take to be a Beat Writer, you may ask? Someone who has a passion for sports, is ambitious, and can work independently to reach deadlines has the perfect attributes to be a Beat Writer. No prior experience in photography is necessary, and basic writing skills (or a willingness to improve upon writing) is enough of a background to apply to the program.

The Beat Writer program is a perfect opportunity for sports lovers to get to know athletes at UCLA on a personal level, and to get paid doing what they love to do anyways! If you fit this criteria and would like more information on the program and application process, email Kyle Urban at , or take a trip to the Club Sports Clubhouse located in the John Wooden Center.

Ellie Benitez is a 3rd year undergraduate Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics major and Society and Genetics minor at UCLA. She currently serves as the HCI representative for UCLA Recreation, where she is a Student Supervisor for Intramural Sports.

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