The 2021 Christian Today sport writers met yesterday (Wednesday 13 January) on Zoom to meet the newest sport writer Melbourne’s Kelly Thompson and discuss the year ahead.
Jesse Moore from the Sunshine Coast functioned the Zoom for the sports writers – Zoom attendance was
Phil Hall - sport writers coordinator and editor
David Goodwin - 3 times winner Tony Dunkerley Sport Writers award
Jeremy Dover - 3 times winner including 2020
Kelly Thompson - Christian High School and Sports
Wes Tronson - apologies – work issues - 3 times winner also
Dr Mark Tronson - Press Service International
After Phil Hall welcomes us with a prayer, he invited everyone to introduce themselves saying something about their past, career and interests as a sport writer.
The sport writers program with Christian Today has been running since 2009 and over those years there have been a number of changes of sport writer personnel. Jeremy Dover and Wes Tronson are still writing sport.
Jeremy Dover was a sport scientist and then a pastor, into sport chaplaincy, Christian College, and then sport writing. Wes Tronson went to England in 2003 for soccer and banking returning in November 2010 and his interest in the EPL (English Soccer) opened a door for writing.
David Goodwin grew up on cricket and when his journalism took him eventually as editor of the Salvation Army WarCry and then to Government journalism. Sport writing fell into his orbit.
Phil Hall likewise grew up on cricket and through his early Christian walk in the Brethren community and finally to Anglicanism, his interests mainly academic with several degrees, came into sport writing with expectations.
Kelly Thompson came into the Christian Today sport writing team through Jeremy Dover viz one contact and then another contact and without a blink of an eye Kelly warmed to the idea of being a sport writer. The spot became available as Travis Barnes (former sport writer) was focusing on his Comment writing for Christian Today as a coordinator and editor of the Aust Over 31s.
Phil Hall as chair of the Zoom meeting asked the sport writers to raise issues.
There were a number
The nature of sport writing for Christian Today
The selection of sport topics
The breadth of sport coverage in the articles
The analysis of sport analytics in the articles
The writing codes – The Style Guide
Four of the five sport writers are in Melbourne - depending on the Covid situation, they plan to meet again ‘in person’ sometime in March - in a park, in a café, a meeting facility …
The first 2021 sport writer article is being published next Wednesday, 20 January by new writer Kelly Thompson.
Each of the five weeks in each Cycle - one by one the sport writers send in their sport articles on the Wednesday.
1st Wed - Kelly Thompson
2nd Wed - Jeremy Dover
3rd Wed - David Goodwin
4th Wed - Wes Tronson
5th Wed - Phil Hall
On occasions they swap their week due to circumstances out of their control. The sport writers have been highly visible since 2009. It was the sport writers who initiated the young writer ministry when other young people wanted to write for Christian Today on other issues.
In 2019 this young writer ministry – ‘Press Service International’ won the premier award of the Australasian Religious Press Association – The Gutenberg. In 2020 the Gutenberg went to Eternity magazine. A very high recognition. A great honour for the young writers.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html