Shawn Boatin: GRM The Story So Far!
Having released over 100 articles on GRM about other people, it feels very weird talking about myself! But after 13 months running Grassroots Rugby Media, it’s probably a good time to make a formal introduction!
Hull Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and a few other rugby related blogs have written about me and GRM, but this is the first time I’m writing about myself on my own platform!
How did it all start?
I’m 26 years old, and as a ‘young teacher’ I make very good use of my holidays and travel quite often, however well before I became a teacher, in my late teens, I got really into making travel videos having watched and admired YouTubers such as Casey Neistat and Jon Olson. I taught myself how to edit and the hobby became really addictive.
Fast forward a few years and I’m playing amateur rugby for Hullensians RUFC, I thought it would be really cool to have regular cinematic 'montage' type footage of the amateur game and from there the idea grew into a reality!
The first game I ever filmed was West Hull v Siddal U16s. It was a cracking game between two of the best teams in the country at the time, however my footage wasn't good enough and the video was quickly deleted. I returned a few weeks later and filmed West Hull Under 18s v Methley. I put together a 1 minute video to the tune of Dorothy - Raise Hell and the video racked up 7,000 views! Which was massive for my first ever rugby video released online!
Season 1 of GRM was very successful, the videos I produced gained half a million views on Facebook which led to a bit of recognition and landed me some decent sponsorship deals. This was all a bit unexpected considering Season 1 was shot using a Sony A5000, a travel camera which only cost me £500 at the time!
A lot of people think there is a team behind GRM, but everything you see on this platform I produced myself, from the website to every single video, however I can never talk about GRM and not mention John Mooney! John writes fantastic match reports from the amateur game and is a huge part of GRM and is responsible for thousands of users who visit this site every day!
Most importantly this platform wouldn't be anything without the support of the local community. It's great how welcoming everyone is when I revisit clubs, that is what rugby is all about! I probably wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for the community of great people I meet at each club!
GRM season 2 officially launched in January 2018, when I appeared on camera for the first time in one of my videos to hand Keiran Masike an award for best try.
I have really tried to step it up this season investing in a Panasonic GH5 a £3,000 mega DSLR camera! I’ve also tried a few new things with the editing process!
Notable moments so far.
At the end of this season (In October) I’m planning to give away 4 awards. So far this season I have been really impressed by a couple of players. A few standouts include: Mikey Lewis (City Of Hull) Jamie Fields ( Hunslet Club Parkside) Carl Puckering (Skirlaugh Bulls) Harry Norton (West Hull U14s), Lewis Poskitt (Beverley) and Nathan Magee (Skirlaugh U15). There are so many others so I’m going to need help judging each category! And I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more names as the season chugs on!
I have also been very impressed by the entire Wetherby Bulldogs U15s team. 11 of the lads have signed Scholarships with Super League Clubs and it shows in the professional manner they approach every game. The coach Jamie Field is a top bloke and I’m sure him and the lads will pick up a trophy or two this year!
Despite building up a good following on Facebook last season, I decided to start from scratch and build up a following on YouTube. It’s harder to do big numbers on YouTube but I love a challenge and videos are more public, better quality and search engine friendly on YouTube.
So what’s next?
Firstly, I have begun filming for ‘GRM Xtra' which will comprise of short videos which feature the GRM junior presenting team, interviewing and getting involved in a few bits at pro clubs. I’m not quite sure when I’ll release these but it’s a working progress!
Secondly, I’m working on a number of projects within and away from GRM with some great names in Rugby including Shaun Lunt and Jason Robinson.
Are you going to expand with extra cameramen etc?
I get asked this question a lot, and the answer is: I will as soon as I find somebody as obsessively crazy and driven as me to produce videos of the same standard or better!
There are 52 weeks in a year, so on my own I simply can’t cover enough teams in one weekend for the platform to grow sustainably, so watch this space as big changes are only over the horizon!
Keep supporting GRM and spread the word near and far!