Vaylen Kirtley is a beautiful young woman, with gorgeous hair, a striking smile, and a real passion for sport.
Since high school, she has been a regular face on our TV screens as an anchor on Sportsbuzz on SABC, and her bubbly personality has been a hit with viewers.
Now, at the age of 20, Vaylen has come a long way, and could even be regarded a veteran in her field.
But, she remains humble about her success, insists she is still learning, and chooses to point to some of her peers as inspiration.
Vaylen lives in Joburg and works for SABC Sport as a presenter on two magazine programmes, including “Women in Sport” on SABC 2. She also compiles and presenters the news section, Sportswrap on the SABC Sport Channel.
Her biggest highlight was attending the Paralympic Games but admits the elation of winning the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup is also right up there.
Vaylen keeps fit by running and her favourite spectator sport is soccer, and Elana Meyer, Natalie du Toit, and Portia Modise count among her favourite sports stars.
Watch out for this hard working, determined, and passionate sports broadcaster!Introducing gsport’s July Woman in Media, one of SA’s hottest young broadcasting talents, Vaylen Kirtley!
When did you start off in sports broadcasting?
I started with a junior sports programme, Sportsbuzz, in high school.
What are your current career projects?
I am currently presenting SABC Sport magazine programmes ‘Amakrokroko’ and ‘Women in Sport’ as well as scriptwriting for the latter. The SABC Sport Channel is also something that keeps me busy as I present and put together the news section ‘Sportswrap’.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The different people I meet.
I read as much as I can and ask questions…all the time. Being knowledgeable on your subject matter is the most important thing and the best way to understand and appreciate the different aspects of what you do is to ask if you want to know, read to learn more and watch to appreciate what your viewers do.
I think perceptions are evolving as a younger generation’s voice is slowly being heard no doubt that there are stereotypes but because I am young I believe in our different views influencing us as we enter the workplace and develop careers.
What ranks as your biggest highlight as a sports broadcaster?
Biggest highlight…hmm that’s tough it’s between the elation of the 2010 world Cup announcement with the excitement of so much possibility and going to the Paralympic Games. The Games I think would top it all.
Who are some of the sports broadcasters you admire?
Jamie Little, Duane Dell’oca, Sal Masekela, Gloria Brown, Carol Manana; there are many who I think have admirable qualities.
What advice do you have for women who would like to pursue a career in sports broadcasting?
I am still learning myself but with my experience: watch, read and listen do it all enthusiastically.Do you play sport?I don’t play sport but love running.
How do you keep fit?
What is your favourite spectator sport?
After the Barcelona F.C. and ‘Downs game: Soccer!
Your favourite stadium?
Favourite sports star?
The world of sport is too great to have one favourite but Elana Meyer, Natalie du Toit and Portia Modise I think are great.
What inspires you or role models?
In different areas of my life I see different people who I admire and learn from because I am privileged to meet inspirational people a lot, motivation is never far. To pick out one my mother has the strength and compassionate beauty I really look up to.
How can women’s sport in South Africa improve?
With corporate recognition and constant skilled youth development.
gsport strives to celebrate femininity. How would you define femininity?
Beauty in responsibility and detail, appreciating we are dynamic and different from men which means our strength- not talking physical- is different.
What makes you proud to be a woman?
Everything, once I gave up trying to be what others expected the synergy between a strong mind filled with ambition and a soft soul coupled with finding a balance is a great journey, my journey as a young woman.