A WIDNES sports journalism student proudly took home a prestigious award after creating a behind the scenes documentary about his favourite rugby team – Widnes Vikings.

Jack Kinsella was crowned winner of ‘Best Student Project’ of 2022 at the official National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) awards ceremony last Thursday, 2.

As a huge supporter of his local rugby team, Jack, 22, wanted to create a documentary to highlight how important the Vikings are to the community of Widnes and the impact they have had.

So, he created More Than A Club, an emotional documentary involving interviews with players, coaches, staff and more to give viewers at special insight into the workings of the club.

Judges of the awards described the documentary as 'of a professional standard' and stated it had a blend of 'emotion and nostalgia'.

Speaking on his victory, Jack said: “It felt amazing to win the award and to represent LJMU alongside a classmate at the ceremony.

“I’m really pleased to have been selected and I’m really thankful to those who helped me develop this project along the way.”

The journalism student at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), prior to the documentary being created, spent time doing work experience for the media team at the Vikings which he described as ‘insightful’.

It was during that time he got to experience a true taste for his passion of sports journalism, as well as gaining a closer look into the team he has supported since birth.

Runcorn and Widnes World: Jack Kinsella accepting the award at the NCTJ award ceremony Jack Kinsella accepting the award at the NCTJ award ceremony (Image: Twitter)

Speaking on where the idea for the documentary evolved from, he said: “As a Widnes supporter the idea was one that I had already experienced essentially as I knew about the club’s struggles and financial difficulties etc.

“After doing background research I found out more about the club’s history and formed a storyline based on the success of Widnes home-grown talent and how the value of this has changed over time.

“I got in touch after doing a short work experience period at the Vikings and discussed plans for a more ‘filmic’ documentary, which could help them tell stories which haven’t been told and show their importance in the community.”

A former student at Wade Deacon High School, Jack said the process of creating the documentary was extremely ‘rewarding’, and even more so now after receiving praise and recognition from the official journalism board.

“It’s so rewarding for me to create images that tell important stories and being recognised for that is really special.

“I learnt so much and even when I’m shooting new documentaries at the moment I think back to this project and use it as a marker that I can only go upwards from.”

Pete Leydon, sports journalism lecturer at LJMU said: “Jack’s success is testament to his talent and hard work, and we are all really proud of him in the LJMU Journalism department.”

The ambitious creator will graduate from his journalism degree at the end of this month and currently works as a freelance cinematography as well as being a runner for documentary, TV and film.

He hopes to continue to use his journalistic skills for future projects and documentaries.

“Being able to create this documentary on a team that I support and to win an award for this is something I’ll remember forever.

“I want to say thanks to everyone at LJMU and the Vikings who helped me along the way.”