Leading broadcaster goes the distance with DMU's Sports Law course

He was the voice of BBC Radio 5 Live for 15 years, now Gordon Farquhar is producing sports reports of a different kind.

The former Olympics and sports news correspondent is in the final year of his Sports Law LLM at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Gordon main

Specialising in the business, governance and organisation of sport as a broadcast journalist, Gordon had always had an interest in law but didn't originally aspire to be a lawyer.

That changed when his wife's career took the family overseas and he needed something to occupy his mind, with DMU's master's degree fitting the bill.

Gordon said: "I had to a find a flexible course that allowed distance learning. I was drawn to the DMU course as it seemed to cross so many of my interest areas."

He started his master's in September 2013 after moving to Hungary, so had to balance the demands of studying while adjusting to life in a different country and a new role within his family.

"There was a lot to learn and adapt to," said Gordon. "I swapped a busy working life for the complex role of family head of logistics, finance, catering, education and moral support. I had to fit student into that as well.

"At times I did have to shut the study door and get the kids to order pizza."

Distance learning has worked out well for Gordon, despite issues with the internet in Hungary making progress slow at first.

He said: "Thanks to the tutors who crafted such helpful materials. These were posted out promptly and all the information I needed was online.

"As a journalist, I was well used to carrying out web research, so the lack of access to a library wasn't really a problem."


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When other matters became more pressing, attending study weekends at DMU helped with motivation.

"I found they helped me get back on track," said Gordon, who has also worked for the BBC World Service.

"I felt it was important to connect with my fellow students and the course tutors."

Two subsequent moves - to Istanbul and then Brussels - saw Gordon defer a year until he was in a position to give more time to studying.

He said: "It was fascinating to be discussing and researching some cases that I'd actually reported on from court but from a completely new perspective.

"I've learned a lot and have had to challenge my own preconceived ideas.

"I wish I'd done the course earlier in my life, as I'm sure it would have made me a better-informed journalist."

Now awaiting the result of his dissertation, Gordon is considering a career in sports administration.

He added: "The past four years have taught me to embrace change and expect the unexpected.

"Hopefully there will be another string to my bow when an opportunity arises that I can't refuse!"

Posted on Friday 10th March 2017

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