From Ontario to Rupert: meet our new sports guy

An introduction to our new sports reporter Bevan Hamilton.

Sports and storytelling are two things that I have always been passionate about.

That is exactly what I’ll bring as the new sports reporter at the Northern View, an enthusiasm to tell your community’s sports stories.

Coming from a family of nine children life around my house has always been crazy — and we’ve gathered quite a few stories because of it.

I think that’s where I first learned to love storytelling — all of us sitting at the dinner table, relaying to my parents and siblings what happened at the house that day.

I left my hometown of Elmira, Ontario on Aug. 1 to drive to the North Coast. Five days later, I arrived in Rupert to the rain, and then it rained my first week here, which is not at all abnormal, as I’ve been reminded by people I’ve met here.

I freelanced as a sports reporter at a community newspaper when I was 15 to test whether I could envision myself doing this full-time. I guess it worked, because six years later, I found myself studying journalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, a mid-sized city two hours east of Toronto.

Given the chance to cover the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls, I learned to love sports coverage.

Community sports matter to people. They matter because it’s their brother or sister, their son or daughter. It’s the neighbour you’ve known since they were born or the star athlete who chose to keep their talents close to home rather than chase their dream far away.

I want to be the guy that writes the story about your 10-year-old son scoring the winning goal in a minor hockey game that you cut out of the newspaper and put on the fridge. It’s the same clipping he shows his own kids one day when they don’t believe he played sports like them.

I wrapped up my college education with an internship at CBC News, as a writer in the features department. It was a different experience for me because for eight weeks, I sat at a desk and didn’t leave the office. I made tons of phone calls and wrote a handful of stories, but didn’t get the chance to leave the office to cover anything in person.

Still, it taught me to show initiative and to sell my story ideas. Some of the things I got the chance to write on included the five-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, the state of the nuclear power industry, if schools should monitor the social media of its students and how emojis have changed the way we speak to each other.

I’m thankful for the opportunities the North Coast offers. I’ve hiked the Butze Trail twice already and my favourite experience so far is driving to Hyder, Alaska over the Labour Day weekend. Taking in the Salmon Glacier is something I will never forget, not to mention seeing six bears on my drive and the incredible mountains throughout the windy roads.

I haven’t travelled all around the world. But I have been to Costa Rica, Cuba, South Africa and Lesotho (a small landlocked country within South Africa’s borders). All of them were beautiful and eye-opening, but there really isn’t anything quite like sitting by the ocean, watching seals play in the water while the sun sets behind the mountains.

Prince Rupert may be rainy but it sure is beautiful, and I look forward to exploring it.