Sports writing course offered at downtown campus


There is no denying that sports fans are passionate and sometimes even opinionated. Many call sports radio shows and discuss with friends. And in today’s connected world, others turn to blogging as a means to communicate their per- spectives and viewpoints with fel- low sports nuts.
Those who go to university, how- ever, find that their heavy school workload distracts them from their passion. Wouldn’t it be great, these students may wonder, if a sports course was offered in school?
At University of Toronto, their wish has been granted. From October 5 to November 30, the newly developed Freelance Sports Writing course will be available.
The instructor of the course is none other than veteran Perry Lefko. Lefko has more than 25 years experience as a professional writer, including 21 years as a sports reporter with the Toronto Sun. He currently covers the Canadian Football League for and contributes to both the Toronto Star and Metro News. Lefko is also an editorial
consultant for Down The Stretch, a horse racing newspaper, and has written six books to date, including two bestsellers.
With such an impressive resume, students should expect to soak up Lefkos considerable knowledge and expertise through the entirety of the course. Lefko believes this course helps students realize their dreams of becoming a sports writer and teaches how accessible and opportunistic this career path can be for participating students.
Some people have a dream of writing professionally about sports. This [course] will explain the paths needed to pursue that goal, from the earliest age to any point after- ward, knowing that its available for the taking, said Lefko. We talk about ways to pursue this path, whether its writing for a junior high or secondary school newspa- per or enrolling in post-secondary schools that teach journalism and in some cases, sports journalism.
Throughout the nine week course, students will be taught the basics of writing about sports, the fundamentals of becoming a reporter, website writing and blogging, marketing their work for various uses, learning how professionals create their work for public consumption and how to write a sports book and the publication process. The course will include guest speakers who will share their
advice and personal experiences. Lefko also aims to abolish any stereotypes about sports writing, making it clear to potential stu- dents that sports writing is not only for men. He encourages women to participate in this course and believes they can be as knowledge- able and successful in the field as
men. Some of the best sportswriters
have been, or continue to be, women, said Lefko. Because sports are considered a mans game for the most part, it can limit the opportunities available to women.
The November 16 lecture will be dedicated to the topic of gender in sports writing. Students will exam- ine the challenges women face in the industry and take a look partic- ularly at one-time sports columnist Christie Blatchford of the Globe and Mail, Mary Ormsby, formerly the only woman covering the Canadian Football League, writer Donna Spencer at the Canadian Press and Kathryn Humphries from Citytv. They will learn how these women overcame obstacles and gained respect in their fields.
Interested? Join now. The dead- line is September 28; the cost, $585. Students can register online at or by call- ing 416.978.0765. It will be a fun, educational and interactive experi- ence for writers and sports writers of all genders.