Experience and cuttings can only further enhance learning in the classroom for the journalists of tomorrow.

It’s time to for me to give something back.

As a wannabe journalist, I was helped along the way by many people and now I feel it’s my turn to do exactly the same to try to help the next generation of journalists. 

It’s why – with the backing of our sports editor Steve Penny, managing director Alan Taylor and operations manager Gary Bush – today we’re launching a 12-month adventure called Your Corner. 

In a nutshell, this means once a month my column will be taken over by an aspiring writer. While the cheering in the background about having less of my drivel published in the paper diminishes, it doesn’t mean I’ll be going anywhere. My column will continue into its fourth year and our live events will be back once coronavirus restrictions clear off.

I’ll be offering my support and assistance in helping said young man or woman produce a column for Your Local Paper. So I’m not passing the buck. If anything, it’ll be more work than penning my own thoughts.

However, it’s something I’m extremely passionate about so that doesn’t bother me. People took the time to guide me and give me a chance and I can’t wait to do the same.

You learn to write better by writing. The confidence you gain from getting words published is unmeasurable. 

I still have all the press cuttings from my St Clement’s High School, College of West Anglia and Southampton Solent University days.

Those formed a portfolio that I stuck under the nose of the first editor (John Elworthy) I met for a job interview. Thankfully he took a punt on a very raw, but keen, wordsmith who still pinches himself that he continues to earn money from writing and talking about sport.

I wouldn’t say I’m the best writer in my house – which includes a three-year-old – but eagerness and a desire to work hard will always get you places. Those qualities will be needed more than ever as we try to drag our way through the mother of all recessions. 

Jobs will be sparse, industries will be feeling the pinch and sadly the opportunities for the youth of today look less exciting than they did for me.

However, I graduated in 2009 – the last time a serious economic downturn had us all squirming financially. 

I found a way. And you’ll be able to as well if you want it enough.

So if you’re a young writer looking for a break, work with us to try to help get you it. Get in touch and see if you can have this column as your own. There’s 12 opportunities to take up this whole page to share your thoughts with the biggest readership in West Norfolk.

It’s a chance I never had but would have jumped at. Literally, head first through the hardest brick wall if I’d have had to. Yet we’re here waiting with open arms to catch you.

So if you want to be a sports writer of tomorrow, why not start gaining experience and publicity today. Help us get your name out there. 

Once you’ve been published, doors start to open. Ours will always remain ajar because the old saying remains; “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Journalism is all about contacts; add us to yours.

We can’t wait for people to get in touch. So please don’t be shy in applying or passing on this message. I’ve had my time. It’s time for you to start having yours.


How to enter

Email: One 300-word column on any sporting topic of your choice to gavin@yourlocalpaper.co.uk before September 25

Eligibility: Entrants must;

– Be in high school, sixth form, college or university education 

– Aged between 14 and 21 

– Live in the West Norfolk Borough Council district area as stated at
www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/downloads/file/1948/map_of_the_borough

– List their home address as in that area if studying elsewhere

Format: Twelve successful entrants will be granted one week’s column space (a whole page) usually granted to Caney’s Corner.

A chosen date for their published column (likely to be the penultimate Friday of the month) will be confirmed once all writers have been chosen.

They will work with Gavin Caney to ensure content is ready for the Tuesday of their published column date.


Proud to be at heart of community

Seven years! 

That’s how long Your Local Paper has been serving West Norfolk by producing a free weekly community newspaper.

During that time, charities aplenty and events in the district have been supported wholeheartedly by the team. 

The Your Corner venture is just the latest example of giving something back – much to the excitement of managing director Alan Taylor. He said: “When Gav came to us with this idea, we didn’t have to think twice. We are proud to live and work in West Norfolk and be at the heart of the community. 

“Initiatives like these can only help strengthen the bond with our readers and prove, once again, that we’re a paper for the people of this area.

“We are proud to be the No.1 read for sport in West Norfolk, the readers’ choice and free in print, online and via our app.

“It’s exciting to be giving such a great opportunity to young men and women who are starting out on their journalistic careers. We’re sure many will go on to great things and we’d love if we’d helped them along the way.

“So we urge people to get in touch and take up the chance of taking over his column. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing what gets written, with the guidance of Gav and our brilliant sports editor Steve Penny, and publishing even more exciting sporting content over the next 12 months and beyond.”

Read the ‘How to enter’ section above to get involved. 

For further information, please email gavin@yourlocalpaper.co.uk


Speedway GPs worth a watch

You’ll probably know the winners already.

But even if you do and you haven’t seen them, I urge any speedway or motorsport fans to watch the weekend’s Grand Prix openers.

The first two of the eight-round COVID-19 impacted series was held in Wroclaw, Poland and it produced some of the finest racing you could expect to see.

It was the type of action that made me fall in love with the shale sport growing up. Riders overtaking each other at will, four bikes pretty much side by side going into corners, and no processional action.

The GP series is where the cream of the crop do battle to lift the most prized crown in a sport that struggles to enjoy the popularity of its glory years in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. 

However, the same cannot be said of a Grand Prix product that – until this year – has grown in size and expanded across the globe. The product has been marketed outstandingly and with the best riders on the planet doing battle, the racing is second to none.

Some of the heats across the round held on Friday and then Saturday were stunning. The type of daredevil moves that leave you open mouthed – especially when you consider these thrill-seekers do it without any brakes.

I don’t like the new scoring system one bit. Yet if the action continues like this, I won’t be feeling too downbeat about it.