The cover of this book got my immediate attention even before I started perusing through the pages. The green passport cover sent me into a fabulous world where I pictured myself touring with the Springboks in top cities across the world. I must admit that the cover does justice to the content of the book. Publicide, who designed the cover deserves a mention for the great work they produced to complement Liam Del Carme’s wonderful story.
Winging It- On tour with the Boks, has to be one book that many sports journalists in the country, most especially rugby scribes, have been waiting for quite some time. It is a book that chronicles veteran sports journalist Liam Del Carme’s many years of travelling with different Springboks teams on tour to different countries. From Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, England, Wales and Japan for their last Rugby World Cup.
Del Carme narrates all his personal experiences travelling across the world reporting about the three-time Webb Ellis champions; the Springboks. Perusing through the pages of this book, the readers will be taken through all of the bad and good of Liam’s travelling. From having to deal with subtle racism in Argentina to being treated like a king at many establishments in different parts of the country.
Liam is one of the few sportswriters who have had the privilege of covering almost all the World Cups the Springboks participated in since the country was readmitted back into the international game. I found myself slightly jealous with how this veteran journalist has reaped the rewards of being a sports journalist, and I know fellow scribes will feel the same after reading this book. Journalism is not really a glamorous profession and with sports departments treated mostly like stepchildren in many newsrooms in the country, it becomes so easier to envy the kind of privilege Liam has enjoyed in travelling across the world.
Winging It will make many envy Liam’s job, but most importantly it will make you laugh, especially when Liam narrates the kind of relationship Eddie Jones and Peter De Villiers have had with the media. I like how the chapters have been separated through different themes and also how short they are in keeping the reader’s attention intact throughout.
This is a must-read book and I will most definitely recommend it to parents who might have second thoughts when their children want to pursue journalism as a profession. While journalism is a passion-driven, not very good paying profession (speaking from experience), Winging It demonstrates that there are also great perks of being a journalist, especially a sports journalist.