Olly Matthews is Potato’s Business Development Director, in his spare time he writes articles and commentates on live matches for Australia’s leading sports opinion website, The Roar.
I’ve always been a huge sports fan and I’ve played rugby and cricket to a pretty decent standard and always loved any sport that involves a ball - like a dog I’ll just chase one for hours with a happy smile on my face and a wag in my tail.
When I was living in Australia I found a sports publication called The Roar. I loved how it covered all the sports I was interested in - rugby union, NRL, AFL and cricket.
For a while I just read articles on there. I kept coming up with ideas for articles I thought would be interesting but was never quite brave enough to submit one to the editors. One day though, I took the plunge and submitted my first article. A few days later it was reviewed and published 🎉.
I tried writing a few more - some got published and some didn’t. I got in touch with some of the editors at The Roar to ask for feedback and how I could get more involved. They were really helpful and my writing improved a lot.
In late 2017 The Roar asked if I would like to cover some live matches and commentating. I was very keen and found myself up at all hours (most of the games we cover involve Australia and New Zealand) commentating on anything from the Rugby League World Cup Semi Finals, to full days of Ashes Test Cricket to the netball in the Commonwealth Games and of course, lots of rugby.
Over 100 of my articles have now been published and have been read by almost half a million people. I’ve commentated on some of the biggest games in the sports I love and get to talk about them with other people who love sports as much as me.
One personal highlight was being asked to interview one of the most experienced and loved All Blacks, Ben Smith. The All Blacks are the most successful international rugby side in history and one of the most successful sides in any form of professional sport anywhere in the world. I got to speak with one of their heroes for an hour and then write an article that pre-reviewed an Amazon TV Series on the All Blacks and their success. I was very chuffed with that.
I’ve learned lots from my time writing and commentating for The Roar. From hugely practical skills like uber-fast typing and being able to identify every player on a team by name to improving my storytelling skills. The ability to tell a good story and understand what makes a good story is something I’m always trying to get better at. The ability to write an article or proposal that grabs the reader from the first sentence is always a focus for me. This also benefits my work at Potato as it helps clients to better connect to the work we do and imagine how we can support their business.
You can find Olly’s articles on The Road on his Roar profile