By Joshua Britto
On Independence Day I got the opportunity to speak with core founding members of Sports Highlight Real: Staron Timothy, Aaron De Matas, and Antonio Timothy. We discussed many things for example the origin of the show, how it developed over time, and what they have planned for the future of the show. Here is the full interview.
1. What lead to the formation of the team and what inspired you to make it a show?
Aaron: I like to play and watch sports and it came to my attention that locally there is not a sports show that appeals to the youth. So the idea came to me and being an actor with everything closed I decided to do something with my talent instead of waiting for everything to reopen. I decided to run with the idea of making a sports show, so I went to Staron and told him the idea. After telling him the idea, he liked it and said we should try it; so we went to D.A.T live streaming and started the show.
Staron: With me, after a meeting with Catholic Youth Commission Aaron came to me with the idea because Catholic Youth Commission wanted to have a ‘sports blog’. At that point in time, we thought video blog, so it came off as the idea of starting with our vicariate first, our own is the Sub-urban Vicariate and then from there it evolved into something more ‘national’ to the point where we had a couple of other persons from other vicariates on our team as well.
Antonio: Staron came and told me about the idea for a sports show. I said alright this could work, and then we launched on our vicariate and then moved over to our own platform.
2. Describe your show
Staron: A show of energy, fun, and hype from the beginning. We try to talk about as much as possible local sports and from there the energy goes to international sports. Mainly the EPL (English Premier League) and Champions League when it begins. There is also a segment when supporters of teams for example Liverpool and Chelsea go head to head debating and trashing the opponent’s team.
Antonio: In my words the show is vibes.
Aaron: To me, the show is how I envisioned it to be we have fun and vibes on set. Also bloopers, plenty bloopers. And also helps in the development of young people.
3. How long are the episodes?
Antonio: Sometimes 40 minutes but most of the time 30-35 minutes long.
4. When does your show air live?
Antonio: Currently we air live on a Friday at 6:30pm; but we are looking to move it back to Tuesday, because school and work are reopening. So to make it easier for the panel so it would be a day everyone would be free.
5. How do you prepare before an episode?
Aaron: Most of the time we make scripts on the spot, have our little bit of fun to warm up and start the show and then the director goes ‘5,4,3,2,1’ and from there you hear the famous quote ‘And it’s a goal by De Matas and welcome to the most watched highlight show in the world on Facebook Live’. And that’s how we kickoff the show.
Antonio: For me, I watch all the games be it EPL, CPL (Caribbean Cricket Premier League) and whatever sports it may have to give my input.
Staron: For me I usually watch the games on the weekend, I also research the teams a day or two before to learn some of their history. Sometimes I come unprepared and just feed off of Aaron and Antonio’s vibe.
6. What do you enjoy most about the show?
Aaron: The family bond we share as a team. And bashing Arsenal whenever they lose.
Antonio: The family bond and the fact we can comfortably express ourselves.
Staron: For me apart from the family bond I also enjoy experiencing the talent and seeing talent before my eyes.
7. Is there anything viewers can look forward to?
Antonio: The viewers can look forward to seeing more priests on the show for example Fr Cornelius, Fr Matthew, Fr Jason Grell, and many others.
8. What goals do you have for the show?
Aaron: For the show to be the first local sports show on the internet that is run strictly by the youths.
Antonio: My goal is to get more youths to stay in the Catholic Church. And more Catholic audience viewing building up in the next few months.
Staron: Well apart from what Aaron said, to show people 18-35 that the church has something in place for them at the end of the day. Another goal is to get more spirituality in the show. For example using a bible story like David and Goliath to show a comparison between Arsenal and Liverpool.
9. What do you want viewers to take away from the show?
Antonio: I want viewers to take away always put a smile on your face and always be happy. Although things don’t go your way, find time to smile.
Aaron: For me anything is possible and dreams do come through. Because this started off as a dream and look where we are today.
Staron: Create laughter and we want that if someone has a long week they can turn on Sport Highlight Real and relax.
10. What is your favourite episode/segment so far?
Aaron: My two favourite episodes would be club versus club and last week’s episode with Fr. Ransom.
Antonio: Same for me, in the club versus club we got to bash Arsenal and last week although it wasn’t everyone present, only I, Nicola, Aaron and Fr Ransom, it was just a vibe.
Staron: The last three or four episodes because we got more creative with the camera angles and finally saw our hard work in fruition.
11. Was this something you ever saw yourself doing?
Antonio: Yes, because for me I always wanted to talk sports. And I also wanted to be a director or producer for a show from young.
Aaron: Yes because from small I used to take the part of the vacuum that looks like a mike and pretend I was the host of my own show.
Staron: Not in a million years because I fell off the sports wagon but curiosity for talent and this idea helped redevelop a passion for it.
12. Are there any challenges you face recording the show?
Antonio: Only challenge we have is with live streaming. For example the laptop giving trouble or the WiFi dropping the minute we trying to do the show.
13. Do you have any special memories from the first episode?
Aaron: Yeah plenty. The first show was an hour long it was Germany versus somebody and I was bashing Stevos about his team and he was saying ‘doh worry Germany not going to lose’. I asked him,’you sure?’ and after the game I said, ‘Oh gosh boy Stevos, look some toilet paper.’
Antonio: For me was when we threw a big bail of toilet paper for Stevos after the game.
Staron: My memory was ‘winging it’ because script writing was hard for me, so anything someone said I would just go with it. I ended up having to be spontaneous to do a debate.
14. If this show never existed what would you be doing?
Aaron: I don’t know probably sitting at home watching sports and discussing it with my friends as a group like the show does.
Antonio: If this show never started I don’t know if I would be still doing videography. This team supported me and allowed me to improve myself and got me watching more games. Because before I would just watch Tottenham games.
Staron: Probably something else but thanks to the team I have a rekindled passion for sport.
15. Since doing the show any fan interactions yet?
Antonio: Yes actually. Because people stopped me in the street to tell me they watch the show and say I should be on camera more.
Aaron: Family and friends from foreign call me to say well done and people from the St. Joseph parish big us up.
Staron: I missed the last episode and I got messages from people asking how come I wasn’t there.
16. Any advice for someone lacking courage to try something new seeing you tried something new and achieved this?
Aaron: If you have an idea go for it don’t be ashamed because it could be the next biggest thing. And trying something new is coming out of your shell and could show you that you may have a hidden talent in that area.
Antonio: I would encourage anybody with an idea to just go for it. Your idea could produce big things. I’ve seen it happen with us and sure it could happen for somebody else. Talk to somebody, get advice and go for it.
Staron: Try it, you could either fail or succeed. And any constructive criticism and advice will be useful.
17. How has your perception changed before and after doing the show?
Staron: I know Antonio was okay in videography but to see how much he has improved has gotten me even more excited for the show. My perception on how Keston improved as well because I didn’t know how much they would grow.
Aaron: At first I thought nobody would view the show and those who did wouldn’t like it and say try something new. But getting positive feedback from the first few episodes changed my perception.
Antonio: I used to think negative about the show but getting feedback from people saying they like the show I started to think positive about it.
18. Where can the show be found?
Antonio: The show can be found on D.A.T’s live streaming on Facebook and currently we are working with Youth Commission for it to be on Catholic TT on Facebook.
19. Are old episodes available? If so where can they be viewed?
Antonio: All our episodes are available on D.A.T’s live streaming on Facebook.
The Sport Highlight Real team would like to thank Fr. Matthew and his parish for providing us with studio space. We also want to give a shout out to their other members: Keston Bartholomew, Nicola Wilson and Diego Nanton who were unable to attend the interview. And for anybody interested in supporting them, appearing on the show or interested in live streaming to contact them at: Antonio Timothy (747-1028) Staron Timothy (320-5105) Aaron De Matas (481-6501)