Scoring a New Goal
Broadcast Journalist at Eleven Sports Network
Alumnus, Class of 2011
Bachelor of Communication, University of Newcastle, Australia
As a child, Duncan Elias dreamed of becoming a football player, but was always encouraged to pursue a lucrative career. “How about becoming a doctor or a lawyer,” some would say. “Don’t waste your time. Be someone who earns big money,” others will say. Despite the unrelenting persuasions of those around him, Duncan stayed true to his dream of becoming a professional football player.
From enrolling in his school’s football team to training rigorously at the former Nike Soccer Academy on weekends, Duncan’s stamina and techniques improved at tremendous speed and landed him squarely in the Tampines Rovers’ under-12 team. Fast forward to 2009 and after an endless series of intense work-outs and matches later, the then 23-year-old was offered a contract with Singapore’s professional league for men’s association football clubs in 2009. With sharp, calculated footwork and a keen foresight, the defender quickly earned the title of ‘set-piece specialist’, and became a household name for fans of the local soccer scene.
Duncan enjoyed notable success as a professional football player for six years before the tables were turned on him. Faced with a severe knee injury, coupled with an expiring contract, Duncan was forced into an early retirement at age 28. Consumed by disappointment and self-loathe, Duncan shut himself away from everyone and spent his time flipping through the newspaper cut-outs of his glory days.
One day, while reminiscing about his achievements on the field, Duncan encountered an epiphany. He thought to himself, “If I can’t play the sport anymore, why not talk about it?” Armed with the news writing and reporting skills that he gleaned from his diploma in mass communication, Duncan put on a game face and promptly applied for the assistant radio producer position at a sports marketing agency, Red Card Sports Radio.
In his new role, Duncan was never far away from his childhood passion as he often had opportunities to engage with the sport, except that it was from a radio booth instead of playing it on the field. As he began to fall in love with his job, Duncan started to map out new goals for himself, one of which was to become a sports journalist, one who is kept abreast of the changing sporting and media landscape. Following his instincts, Duncan enrolled for the full-time Bachelor in Communication programme offered by the University of Newcastle at PSB Academy.
For two years, Duncan devoured the theories and practices of communications, and developed a firm grasp on the tools and tricks required to navigate through a complex and fast-changing media environment. As an experienced radio host and an aspiring journalist, the driven individual learnt the skills of creativity and innovation necessary for pleasing an increasingly demanding audience, and to keep them at the edge of their seats. He shared, “In particular, I was extremely grateful for the engaging radio practicum activities that the lecturers had prepared, as it helped to boost my writing skills and confidence as a news reporter and journalist”. With the knowledge that he acquired, Duncan explored careers with broadcast stations like Super Sports Arena and Fox Sports Asia before finding a home in Eleven Sports Network. Currently, the 32-year-old is a Broadcast Journalist and uses the multimedia skills that PSB Academy equipped him with for the producing and editing the network’s videos.
While Duncan no longer plays soccer in a professional capacity, his new career has ignited his zest for life and constantly provided him with a meaningful connection to the sport that he still very much loves. Today, Duncan actively shares his story and experiences at industry events, and hopes to be an encouragement to retired sportsmen who may be finding it difficult to strike a new beginning. He said, “Don’t be disheartened even if your initial dream is shattered. You can always set a new goal and explore alternative career opportunities that could be just as rewarding.”