Nova’s Jarrod Walsh nuturing his love of sport with a new podcast

Anyone who knows Nova 919‘s Jarrod Walsh, will know he is a huge sports fan.

So it comes as no surprise Jarrod has launched into the world of Podcasting, interviewing, you guessed it sports stars.

More about that shortly.

But to get an understanding of just what a sport’s nut Jarrod is, one only needs to look to his wardrobe.

“I have over 100 NBA Jerseys (27 LeBron James ones), over 90 Football Shirts and a lot more merchandise. I figure I am a horrific athlete so at least I can look like I’m a good one.” 

And his five favourites?

  •   Signed LeBron James Miami Jersey (Sits in my dining room as the King sits at the head of the table)
  •   Signed Socceroos Shirt. Signed by one of my best mates Tarek Elrich
  •   Signed LA Clippers Jersey. Signed by Ronny Turiaf, a man who I have got to know who is an incredible and inspirational human, who I hope to get on the Podcast soon.
  •   Signed Adelaide United Shirt – I call them all my brothers, and it’s a very special shirt.
  •   My daughter’s first LeBron Jersey – My father in law got this for her, and I LOVE it! She will grow up loving it too. I hope.

It’s definitely an obsession – add to that over 30 caps.

“I need a new house just for my sports clothes – just ask my wife! “

So what prompted a man busy creating a wardrobe bursting at the seams with sports guernseys to jump into the Podcasting arena?

“I find that working in radio, you become obsessed with the platform and I find it hard to sit back and enjoy listening rather than analysing everything. As it’s my job to analyse. For me, I hate silence. It makes me uncomfortable, so I decided to start listening to Podcasts. The great thing about Podcasting is all you require is some recording equipment and an audience. And there are so many Podcasts out there! You are always stumbling across a topic or genre that suits you. I initially began listening to content I may have missed from the Nova Drive show, but this organically grew into listening to pre-game AFL coverage, sports Podcasts and more recently, more inspirational ones – which really got me thinking about whether I should start my own.”

Tell us about Role Models?

“I’ve been really fortunate in my life to be surrounded by some pretty influential people. This is not just within the radio community but also my work within sporting clubs in Australia and numerous business. After getting to know lots of people involved in these industries on a personal level, I started to find that they all have some pretty special stories to tell. The thing is, they aren’t being told enough. As is within the media and more-so social media in 2017, we are focused on these people’s lives IN the spotlight, that’s how we know them. And there’s a fair bit of scrutiny and negativity that comes with that. But for me, what’s important is to tell the stories of what these people are doing outside of the public eye. And believe me, they are doing some special things. Role Models is an opportunity for people who you may know from their work in the public, to explain the positive things they are doing with their lives outside of the spotlight.”

You are up to episode 7 – how has it been received?

“You know to be honest, I was happy if just my Mum listened. But the feedback I have received is incredible. I have had a stack of positive things being said on social media, and even a few people coming up to me telling me how inspired they are listening.  And the most amazing thing I am finding with this Podcast, is people are so willing to take 20 minutes away from their busy lives and talk to me as guests. In episode 5 I spoke to Hawthorn Captain Jarryd Roughead, who was literally about to lead the Hawks in their first game of 2017, and also play his first game after a massive cancer battle in 18 months. He was happy to sit down and talk about what he’s learned from this experience and how his attitude towards life has changed. For me, it’s an opportunity for people to be inspired and get to know their heroes or people they see every day in the newspaper, or in the media – on a different level.”

You are a music jock on Nova with a massive love of sport, does creating Role Models help you nurture that sporting interest within an audio platform almost like radio except not in real time?

“Sport plays a huge role in my life. I grew up surrounded by it, and I work within sport every week while I’m not at the radio station. To be able to use that love in a positive way and still broadcast to an audience definitely helps me scratch that itch. And the fact there are no time restrictions, sponsor commitments or ‘narratives’ I need to take the interviews down – makes it more organic and conversational which is what I love about Podcasting.” 

When launching your podcast you said, “We are surrounded with so much negativity in the world – and I want to highlight some positive things.” – what do you focus on in your interviews to reflect positivity?

“I do have a plan going into my Podcasts. Generally, I aim for a Podcast to be around 20 minutes in length with the first 5 or so minutes reflecting on my guests life in the public eye, so we can either introduce them to the audience if they aren’t familiar with them or to chat quickly about how we know them. Then we go into the core reason for doing the Podcast, which is what we may not know about my guest. Each one of my guests either works in charities, mentoring programs, educational programs or has shown their own strength in adversity which has given them perspective on their own lives. I intentionally go into detail about these things with my guests so my audience can listen and understand that these people who we may see as ‘celebrities’ or ‘stars’ are real people and go through the day to day struggles we all do. I see it as celebrating the fact these people are using their so-called ‘celebrity’ for good, and there is a lot of good being done.”

You are also an Assistant Content Director, what are your thoughts on Podcasting vs radio and the pros and cons of both?

“Podcasting for me, screams ‘opportunity’. There is limited opportunity in radio, and jobs usually only come up at the same time every year so it’s definitely tough. I think the two platforms are very different though. I love radio and the role it plays in our world. Take Friday for example when Harry Styles released his new song. People were literally waiting for it to drop on the radio and hear it for the first time. That whole idea of breaking music on the radio still is as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, even though our options have increased to source audio. People who say radio is a dying platform are delusional. Radio is ever growing and I bloody love it!

“Podcasting allows people to still express themselves, butwithless restrictions. There is huge potential for Podcasting to continue to grow as well, as more and more people are doing it. You can also see many radio stations relying on their Podcast services for extra content, because of how busy we are in 2017 – we still get to go back and listen to what we may have missed on our favourite shows. Commercially, Podcasting also offers huge opportunity. Take Joe Rogan for example – he spends the first 10 minutes of his Podcast talking about his clients who are on board. Effectively a 10-minute ad break before the content begins. Or others referring to their Patreon account. Podcasting is a platform for people to freely express themselves, and how successful it is, is solely dependent of how much work is put in.” 

Who would be your ultimate interview for Role Models?

“That’s a great question. As you know I am obsessed with American Sport and my idol is LeBron James. I actually met him in Milwaukee after a game and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Don’t tell my wife because she want’s me to say our wedding was. But I see him as more than the greatest basketballer of all time. LeBron grew up with nothing in Akron Ohio in a broken family, and now is a multimillionaire, owns several businesses, part owner of Liverpool FC and most importantly – has programs to help out kids from his neighbourhood go to school and learn. He is using his powers for good and I would love to sit down and chat with him again. Closer to home, in an upcoming episode I am chatting with Eddie Betts and his wife Anna Scullie. They do so much work for Indigenous Australians and I think as a country we all can be more educated and have more understanding about the issues they face daily. In my last episode I spoke to a man named Jacob Walker, who was working for Cricket Australia when I met him, and we lost contact. Soon after I found a video of him online just randomly, and discovered he suffered a brain tumour. Not only did he beat it, but 7 months after the surgery he ran the New York Marathon. It was just inspiring to listen to.”

You have just become a Dad, now that you have dipped your toe in the Podcasting waters are there any ideas floating around for future podcasts on parenting from the man’s perspective perhaps?

“God yes! Men don’t talk about their feelings enough! The last 7 months have been a rollercoaster for my wife and I and at times as a Dad you feel so useless, helpless and inadequate. Most of the time you also feel lonely because men aren’t supposed to have feelings! Well I want to change that, and I am always talking to my male friends about being a parent. Talking about your feelings is very refreshing and you find the more you talk – the more you realise you aren’t alone. A dad podcast would be awesome, and you never know – one may be on the way soon!”

What’s your advice for someone thinking of getting into Podcasting?

“It won’t be perfect from Episode 1. People will always give feedback, but that is vital. Yes be proud of your work, but as with radio – listen to your audience. I’ve been told already that I talk too fast, I need to lower my voice (I project like I am on air), it goes for too long and I need other guests. And it’s not nice to hear, it’s like telling someone they have an ugly baby. But in the end, you want feedback to make it the best thing you can make it. Also – back yourself in! Trust your instincts and be passionate. If you do that, you will sound genuine and passionate about your product.”

You can find Role Models on Sticher, AudioBoom or iTunes.

You can also follow Jarrod on Twitter.


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