One of the most prestigious events in the world of sport, the Wimbledon tennis championship has been a fixture in the calendar since 1877 and continues to grip audiences around the world. And with this year's tournament being broadcast live in high-definition for the first time across the official TV, radio and digital channels, it's been reaching more fans than ever before.

Robin Bailey, Lecturer in BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting at UCFB, has been at the All England Club in SW19 working as a reporter, and we spoke with him about what makes Wimbledon special...

Tell us about what you’ll be working on at Wimbledon this year? And what makes the tournament unique to work at?

Wimbledon is one of those special places in British sport. You can feel the history when you walk into the All England Club grounds. I am privileged to be working as a reporter for the radio coverage of the event, working for IMG (International Management Group) on behalf of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). My role requires me to catch a flavour of the championships from members of the public and some high profile attendees and capture the enthusiasm and passion for tennis. Our audience last year was in the tens of millions from all around the world.

The BBC has been broadcasting this year's tournament in high-definition live for the first time across its TV, radio and digital channels. What are the challenges of doing this and what are the benefits for viewers?

High definition TV has become standard for sports watchers and there is no doubt it has enhanced the enjoyment of these championships. The BBC have been pioneers in multi-screen coverage of this event for many years and this is just part of their expansion of the service. I was lucky enough to work for the BBC for many years in radio and TV and I’ve seen the way the coverage has improved. The ability to slo-mo action has shown the precision, and expertise required for these professional tennis players. These kinds of innovations have been a fabulous addition. With regard to challenges, these are expensive innovations but given this event is a national treasure I think the UK fully buy into the value they bring.

What are the key components of training courses for major broadcasters like the BBC and IMG?

There are a wide variety of training courses that the BBC run – specifically through their excellent College of Journalism. Many of them are fronted by correspondents and respective faces and voices from news and current affairs programming. I have had some involvement in training sports staff at the BBC in how to write well to TV pictures which is not something specifically covered by the CoJ for sports staff. I run these same writing for TV courses for IMG – mainly for Premier League Productions staff. The components of these courses will be largely practical and seeing good and bad practice so attendees can identify the difference.

How did you make that transition from the production/broadcasting side to the training side and what are the main differences? What skillsets are required for both?

In a way I was forced into making a decision about my future, having been made redundant by the old ITV Sport Channel in 2002. While I wanted to carry on producing and broadcasting especially, which I did in a freelance capacity, I also wanted to be in charge of my own destiny in future. That led to my decision to starting a media training company, which also delivered broadcast training as well. There is a certain amount of attention to detail required which is a hallmark of production and the broadcasting and presenting I was doing was good practice for the training in front of groups large and small. But the overriding feeling was of wanting to give back to talented youngsters and inspire them with my own passion and enthusiasm. It is something I do now at UCFB Wembley in a slightly different way, but the concept is exactly the same.

What are the best things about working in sports broadcasting? What have been your highlights?

I have been lucky enough to be involved in Olympics, Paralympics, World Cups and the ability to travel to different parts of the world as part of your job has been fantastic. But when you have sport as your job, when it is actually your hobby as well, it has not often felt like I am going to work, just doing something I love. I have also made so many friends from inside the industry.

And what advice would you have for students who aspire to work in sports broadcasting? What traits and experience should they be working on?

I always talk about passion and enthusiasm being key. If you can transmit that to your audience and your colleagues at work then it will draw in your audience and add to the experience. To work in sports broadcasting you don’t have to be an expert in all sports but you do need a working knowledge of most sports and you may want to specialise down the line, so stay true to the sports you love most and keep yourself well informed and do your research. Keep a contacts book of all the people you talk to – you never know when you will need to get back in touch. And the most important advice of all; be nice. There is no substitute for politeness and being a good team player. Someone once told me people will forget what you say, and what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Networking is so important in the sports industry. What is the best way to go about it and making the most of your contacts?

Keep a contacts book of all the people you talk to – you never know when you will need to get back in touch. This is something I learned as a young cub reporter at the age of 19 before the internet was with us. Those written contacts which will now be in your smartphones are invaluable. Players, managers, governing body spokespeople, coaches, experts in their field – they are all worth keeping a note of. Mobile number and email is enough, but keep a note of when you spoke to them and what it was in connection with so you can refer back in future months or years.