Women in Football sat down to talk with WIF ambassador Reshmin Chowdhury, sports journalist, broadcaster and event host who works for BT Sport, TalkSPORT and the BBC, just days before the Euros kicked off.
For UEFA EURO 2020, Reshmin Chowdhury is working with ITV Sport for the first time, so we couldn’t not have a chat with her all about the tournament and about what her trajectory has been like as a woman in the game.
“I’m so excited to be joining the ITV family as a Presenter for the Euros. We football fans have been waiting a whole year for this and we’re just delighted the tournament is finally here! I can’t wait to get started, though my role has definitely changed a little due to the ongoing restrictions! I was due to be pitchside in St Petersburg, Munich, Scotland, Rome and Wembley, but will now be on-site at a couple of home games and the rest of the time, I’ll be presenting some highlights shows from the ITV studio. I’m really looking forward to that, especially when you see what the studio looks like! It’s amazing, absolutely state-of-the-art”
This exciting opportunity is something that Reshmin, with her abundance of experience, is ready to tackle.
“The good thing is I work in European football across the season, covering the Champions League and the Europa League for BT Sport, as well as the Premier League, so I’m familiar with a lot of the big names in the competition. But obviously, national teams are a completely different story. So, there’s a lot of extra prep, extra notes…though I have to admit, I’m a last-minute crammer!”
After 13 years in the industry, Reshmin is certainly experienced in understanding her own preparation process! We were keen to know just how it was for Reshmin when she first entered the football industry.
“I would say I started in football at a time when the industry wasn’t necessarily open to women as it is now, nor to someone “on the outside” who may not have had a natural path into it. For example, I didn’t know anybody in journalism or football, I didn’t have an ally who could get me through the door. So for me, my journey has really been one of tenacity, grit, keeping my ear to the ground and forging my own way in an industry where there was never a set career path.”
“And then you add on the layer of being an Asian woman and having other barriers – there have definitely been many of those! “
Despite such hurdles, Reshmin has forged an incredible career for herself all based on her relentless work ethic and commitment to authenticity.
“The biggest thing for me is that I’m authentic. I don’t lie or pretend to be something I’m not, I’m really 100% me. I’m so proud of my background and who I am- I’m British, Bengali, Muslim, I’m a woman, I’m a mum, I’m multilingual. I represent so many different things. And I also have that determination, fight and self-belief to push myself.”
“So for me, it’s about proving to myself (and hopefully my kids and other young people!) that it doesn’t matter what your background is, if you’re good and you work really hard, you hopefully could – and should - get to where you want to be.”
It’s that brilliant passion that makes Reshmin such a joy to work with! So what advice has she got for women wanting to build a professional career in the industry?
“Be authentic, know your stuff. Be passionate, be determined. Never be too proud. You’ve also got to start somewhere, don’t assume you’ll walk in and get a massive job. You can and absolutely should aspire to that, but be humble and appreciate every little step as you go along.”
It’s great advice from a fantastic broadcaster whose career sees her report on the biggest and best tournaments. Including the Euros of course!
“A tournament like the Euros or World Cup galvanises an entire nation. Everyone’s looking forward to it – whether they follow football all the time or not. And when you think of the year and a half that we’ve all had, everyone’s even more excited, especially with the potential of just seeing humans in person again, the fans being in the stadiums, the sun shining! It’s that special time of year, isn’t it?”
We loved hearing Reshmin’s enthusiasm for the upcoming tournament and can’t wait to watch her coverage of the games over at ITV!
Make sure to follow Reshmin on her social media pages and keep an eye on our social feeds to see some snippets of our great conversation with Reshmin and other women who are involved in this year’s tournament.