The Girls in the Game podcast hosts, from left, Colleen Sholtis, Ali Tunney and May Gaughann, record an episode in a Thomas Cooper Library study room. (Photos by Dylan Ortuno)
Three women at the University of South Carolina are looking to leave their imprint on the Gamecocks sports scene with their new, women-run sports podcast.
Ali Tunney, Colleen Sholtis and May Gaughann wanted to “dig deeper” into the variety of sporting teams USC has.
“We love the football culture — it’s a huge thing — but all of our athletes are amazing people with amazing stories,” Tunney said.
They said they wanted to supplement the practical experience they were receiving through classes and student media, so they made this show, “Girls in the Game.”
The group settled on a podcast style over any other approach because of its simplicity.
“You could just be walking around the house, doing stuff, or whatever, and listen to the podcast,” Gaughann said. “It doesn’t really take any visual aspect. (Podcasts) are up and coming. I listen to them all the time on Spotify. We just liked the idea. … And there were a lot of resources online to help make a podcast.”
Outside of the internet resources, professor Kevin Hull, lead instructor in the Sports Media initiative at USC’s journalism and mass communications school, also helped the group.
“I just told them to go for it,” He said.
Hull said he provided moral support for the group because of the gender imbalance he has he’s seen in sports media.
“You know, it’s a field dominated by men,” Hull said. “Even with a simple podcast, … and getting a women’s point of view on things, I think that’s important to make sure. … It’s not just the same voices that we always hear.”
The group felt similarly, seeing themselves as a bridge of sorts.
“I think it’s a really great stepping stone for other girls to come out and … say, ‘Hey, it’s not always guys, and girls can know just as much,’” Sholtis said.
While the podcast goes over a wide variety of sports, the installments share a theme.
“Every episode we kind of tie it back to girls,” Tunney said. “In our football episode … we talked about (USC)’s football team having women as five out of its 44 coaches.”
The podcast follows a discussion-style format.
In others, they host guests.
“Tennis is in season right now, so we reached out to Casey Hoole …,” Sholtis said. “He got back to us and we were able to set up an interview with him.”
Hoole is on the USC men’s tennis team and most recently won the 2022 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Carolina region championship.
Sholtis said in the interview, in addition to talking about Hoole personally, the group was able to discuss the men’s and women’s tennis programs from the perspective of a player.
The women also have featured USC men’s basketball player Chico Carter Jr. and are looking to host Gamecock online’s Associate Athletics Director for New and Creative Media Justin King in the future.
Tunney said the first four episodes have received more than 100 views each as of Nov. 11.
In the future, the group looks to expand its coverage.
“As we just keep building our credibility, … and hopefully keep getting all these like bigger names and everything, we can build (the podcast) over the Gamecocks, (the) SEC, other college programs or professional sports like the NFL,” Gaughann said. “That’s a goldmine to just keep expanding.”
People can listen to the podcast on more than 15 different platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.