Broadcaster Launches ParaSportsLive
Tony Jackson is a power soccer athlete/coach and broadcaster. He launched a new company called ParaSportsLive to broadcast adaptive sports online. We sat down with him to learn more about the company and his plans for the future.
Why did you start ParaSportsLive?
I’ve been broadcasting power soccer since 2013. People from around the world watch these live streams, especially big events. They mention how great it is to be able to watch. I started thinking about other adaptive sports and how great it would be to bring what we’ve done with power soccer, to these other sports. There are so many competitions taking place that no one will ever see, unless they’re there. I want ParaSportsLive to change that.
How did you get into broadcasting?
Sometimes, people would tell me that I have a great voice and should work in radio, but I never listened to them. I still don’t! Anyway, I was working in Phoenix and finally decided to see if radio was an actual possibility. So, I quit my job, majored in broadcast journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and started working at the ASU radio station. I loved it! Shout out to Blaze Radio! While in school, I looked for radio jobs, but it just wasn’t happening, so my radio career ended when I graduated. A couple years later, the folks at Power Soccer Shop asked if I would broadcast the power soccer nationals, as they knew I had a background in radio. I said “yes” and the rest is history.
What has been your favorite event to cover so far?
Rio was a blast, but calling the World Cup this July in Florida was definitely my favorite. It was the sport’s biggest event and I was there to share it with fans around the world. It was a huge honor and I’m already looking forward to the next one in four years.
So, you used to work at Ability360?
I did! I was one of the first two receptionists at the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center when it opened in 2011 and I loved working there. While I was there, I also started what became the Ability360 United and Ability360 FC power soccer teams and I used to help with marketing and graphic design. It was hard to leave, but it’s great to see that place still doing awesome work.
What is your goal for ParaSportsLive?
I want to broadcast adaptive sports around the world. I want to cover so many events, that ParaSportsLive will need teams of broadcasters made up of talented people with and without disabilities. There are so many talented people who just need an opportunity to show what they can do. ParaSportsLive will give people that chance.
Is there anything else?
I have a GoFundMe campaign to help get ParaSportsLive off the ground. I want high-quality productions, but it’s not cheap. People can visit gofundme.com/parasportslive to learn more and make a contribution. Thanks for chatting with me and sharing my story!
You can catch Tony’s first live event on October 22 at ParaSportsLive.com. Congratulations Tony!
Photo Courtesy of Tony Jackson