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An Unlikely Journey: How I became A Sports Analyst in China

McSwain Bertrand Sports Analyst

Photo/Courtesy of McSwain Bertrand

As a young boy, McSwain Bertrand dreamed of becoming a scientist. Following in his older brother’s footsteps, McSwain decided to pursue multiple degrees in the sciences field. However, the need to support himself while studying abroad turned into a six-year career in sports media.

The Backstory

Growing up in Dominica, McSwain describes his life as simple. He lived with his family in the tight-knit community of Laudat. He was captivated by science subjects in secondary school. “I wanted to discover how things worked from a young age,” he shared. This led McSwain to pursue a degree in Biology at the Dominica State College. However, opportunities in his field in Dominica were few and far between.

After college, he worked at the Melville Hall Airport in Dominica as an aeronautical information officer. McSwain knew he would have to leave his home country to pursue his passion, so he applied for a scholarship to study abroad. “At the time, it was very difficult to get an interview with the Minister of Education. “I persistently waited outside his office and eventually secured an interview,” Bertrand explained. During the interview, McSwain learned about scholarships to study in China and was encouraged to apply.

Becoming a Sports Analyst

While studying at Beijing Forestry University, McSwain learned of a sportscasting vacancy at StarTimes, a company that provides digital television in Africa. In 2015, the company launched its sports department. They were looking for a football analyst, a role typically reserved for former players and coaches. StarTimes wanted someone who understood the sport, was fluent in English, and was of African descent, to connect with the audience. Bertrand – a natural public speaker and avid football fan checked all the boxes and landed the job.

For the last six years, McSwain has covered over 420 football games including the FIFA Club World Cup, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, and the International Champions Cup. As a football analyst and sports anchor, he provides pre-game hype and during-and-post game analysis. McSwain is also the host, writer, and co-producer of 'Football Paparazzi', a show that focuses on the life of football players off the field. He is also the host of 'Football Moments' – both produced by StarTimes.

What’s next?

While working at StarTimes Media Group, Bertrand finished his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at Beijing Forestry University in 2016. In May of 2020, he earned a master’s degree in environmental health engineering at the University of Science and Technology Beijing. McSwain would like to combine his media experience and passion for science in an environmental communication and media role. His long-term goal is to start his own business and provide job opportunities to people in his home country.


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