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Alex Chapman - ACG Sunderland Alumni | TV3 Sports Journalist

“Back yourself.” Alex Chapman’s best advice is to always have confidence in yourself and take that final leap. As we sit in the school boardroom, he tells me about his journey from Sunderland to being TV3’s sports journalist, broadcaster, and commentator. It’s totally undeniable: he’s the kind of person who just has that sparkle. The effortless sort of charisma that turns heads when he walks into a room and the charm that allows him to connect with every person he meets. I notice it as he recounts his time at school, and I notice it as he affectionately describes all the reasons he’s grateful for the teachers he had growing up. Alex is someone you can’t help but like.

Alex Champan

Years ago, he was at the centre of Sunderland. Emceeing the talent show, articles he wrote in class published in the New Zealand Herald, and head boy for two years: it is these things that pushed Alex to study a Bachelor of Communications, work in radio, and end up on national television.

Always first to pursue any opportunity that came his way, he tells me, “You’ll have way more regrets about the things you didn’t do, it’s all about saying yes to everything and building relationships.” For example, Alex took part in 40 Hour Famine – an organisation that raises money for kids in poverty – and through that he made connections which would land him an internship with World Vision whilst he was at university. As part of his internship he went to Cambodia, and it was while working with World Vision that he met the people that presented him with his current job. “If I hadn’t said yes to doing 40-hour famine, none of that would have happened, and I could be somewhere completely different now.”

Alex went to AUT for a Bachelor of Communications, and always knew he would end up in a job that involved communicating and connecting with others. But it was during his time at ACG Sunderland, that a series of events led him to settle on communications; not law, or teaching (although he tells me with a grin that he was told not to go into teaching because of his “bad potty mouth”). A moment of major realisation for Alex was having an article he wrote published in the ‘College Herald’ – a weekly competition run by the NZ Herald where students had the chance to write about a given topic, and be selected to be published and win a $100 voucher as a prize. He says that being published in the Herald was “wicked” and ignited a love for seeing his own work published. It gave him a sense of accomplishment and made him realise, “maybe I am kind of good at this.”

Before working for TV3, Alex did an internship at RadioSport (a part of NewsTalk ZB) and worked his way up. Then, at the start of COVID, RadioSport was shut down. Alex took reduncancy, freelanced for just over a year, and was hired by TV3 in 2021. Alex specialises in cricket (his personal favourite), Olympic sport, and works with a specialist rugby reporter. Although TV is a lot of work both on and off screen, he loves chatting with sources to gather content, attending live sports events, and even gets FOMO when he takes a day off: “I love the environment at TV3, when I take a day off, I know my mates will be at work having a good time and I feel like I’m missing out.” Although he liked radio for its immediacy and fast workload, he loves being on TV. As he says it, “It might be an ego thing, but it’s cool to know you’re on TV.”

Sure, Alex has the “gift of the gab,” can write a killer script and sparkle while delivering it on screen, but most of all he is a good person. He builds relationships with ease and effortlessly makes you smile. He radiates gratitude toward his teachers and peers, and now, working for one of the biggest channels he still carries what he learned in English class all those years ago with him. “I love rhyming things, things sounding kind of poetic, I love alliteration, for a casual viewer to hear something nice to the ears it just makes you sit up and captures your attention.” He sums it up as “a big part of your journey with journalism and scripting is finding your own voice,” and Alex Chapman’s is one you want to listen to.

By Amelia Lee, Year 12.