McMaster has seen a few famous graduates walk through its halls. From Eugene Levy to Martin Short, who have both moved onto great success on the big and small screens, it’s safe to say Mac has had some notable alumni. One of those individuals is the anchor for The Sports Network: Lindsay Hamilton.

On March 5, McMaster athletics and recreation held a talk where many prominent women in sports came to speak about challenges women are facing in sports leadership today. Among those invited was Hamilton, who I sat down with to interview.

Hamilton was a graduate of the class of 2014 and by the time she graduated was already primed for success in broadcasting. Throughout her time at McMaster, not only was she a student, but she was also a varsity athlete for the lacrosse team, a presenter for a weekly sports show on 93.3 CFMU and a host on the Family channel.

“I’ve always been someone who is really driven and I worked really hard at university. I think putting in the work then allowed me to have a platform after university to bounce off of,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton certainly had her plate full during her undergrad, but this never stopped her from wanting more. She credits her success to the support of her family, her strong work ethic and determination. Hamilton also touched on how being so involved at school was a big factor in learning how to take advantage of every opportunity that she could. 

Reaching for the stars and already having a strong portfolio in television hosting, Hamilton looked to focus on sports broadcasting once she graduated. She got some of her first breaks covering the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup in 2012 and officially joined Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment in 2014. The MLSE owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and many other prominent Toronto sports teams. 

Reaching for the stars and already having a strong portfolio in television hosting, Hamilton looked to focus on sports broadcasting once she graduated. She got some of her first breaks covering the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup in 2012 and officially joined Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment in 2014. The MLSE owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and many other prominent Toronto sports teams. 

After joining the MLSE, Hamilton’s resume grew and so did her screen presence. She is now on the desk as an anchor at The Sports Network for SportsCentre and representing an ever-growing and diverse presence of women in sports media.

TSN’s talent roster is still overwhelmingly male-dominated, but the number of women anchors, hosts and analysts have grown a great deal over the past ten years. 

It is no secret that journalism and broadcasting was traditionally a “boys club”, but TSN is making a change and regularly sees two women leading broadcasts during primetime morning recaps, Raptors and Leafs games. This is one example of the trend in normalization of women leading broadcasts in sports, something that seemed to be a pipe dream in the early 2000s. 

The presence of women in sports is ever-growing. For example, Doris Burke, a National Basketball Association analyst, is heralded as one of the best broadcasters in the sport of basketball and the NBA is set to see an increasing number of women in positions of power.

Masai Ujiri, the president of basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors, has hired over 14 women to be on staff, ranging from coaching to marketing within the organization, more than any other team in the league. And he credits a good portion of the Raptors’ success to the diversity within his staff. 

Not only are teams and broadcast networks hiring more females, but the NBA is rumoured to soon be the first organization to ever have a female head coach within the four majors: football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Becky Hammon has already coached a summer league team, being the first female summer league head coach in the NBA in 2015. Hammon seems to be on the path to take over a regular-season team of her own, with analysts and journalists speculating she could end up as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

“As women, we’ve definitely come a long way. But we can’t be complacent. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try new things, seek a mentor. Know that there is such a great community of women who are willing to support you,” Hamilton remarked at the Women in Sport Leadership panel discussion.

“As women, we’ve definitely come a long way. But we can’t be complacent. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try new things, seek a mentor. Know that there is such a great community of women who are willing to support you,” Hamilton remarked at the Women in Sport Leadership panel discussion.

The importance of a mentor was another point which Hamilton emphasized. Building networks and having figures you look up to can benefit anyone. She suggested taking five figures who you admire for different reasons and emulating those traits.

She says the experience she was able to gather at McMaster was a major factor in perfecting her craft. The shows she produced for MacTV, 93.3 CFMU and her experience at local radio stations through her work study class were crucial in her development as a broadcaster. She could not stress enough how students should take advantage of all the opportunities that are provided on campus.

She says the experience she was able to gather at McMaster was a major factor in perfecting her craft. The shows she produced for MacTV, 93.3 CFMU and her experience at local radio stations through her work study class were crucial in her development as a broadcaster. She could not stress enough how students should take advantage of all the opportunities that are provided on campus.

“I think for me, and this is advice I often give to students these days, is that there are so many resources available to you in university to take advantage of. Don’t wait until you’ve graduated to get work experience,” Hamilton remarked.

Hamilton is a prime example of a new wave in sports, where womens’ presence is long overdue. She worked hard and aimed for the stars, and now she is one. Being a McMaster grad myself, this definitely hit home. Speaking with her was like looking into the pool of potential that the university population has. There are so many talented individuals at 1280 Main St. W. and speaking to an extremely well established graduate was not only inspirational for myself, but I hope for you as well.

 

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