Writing about passion

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I love seeing a passion for rodeo develop among those who have never experienced it.

Oftentimes I work with neophyte reporters who know little, if anything, about the sport. I show them the athleticism involved and liken it to sports they might understand better. I explain the lifestyle and the no-guarantees competition, and I can always tell when those reporters get it.

It’s a greater joy for me to see young journalists get excited about rodeo. Such is the case with my Joshua Kinder, a friend of mine who serves as sports editor of the newspaper in Manhattan, Kan. I’d contacted Josh several months ago as I tried to work out an agreement with the Kaw Valley Rodeo, which takes place every July in Manhattan.

Josh is from Dodge City, Kan., home of the largest ProRodeo in the state. He’d been around the sport some, and he’s watched bull riding on TV.

Even though I won’t be working with the Manhattan rodeo this year, Josh reached out to me with a brilliant idea he had: He wants to ride a bull and write about the process of such in advance of the Kaw Valley Rodeo.

Under the watchful eye of Steve Frazier, the former rodeo coach at Kansas State University who has been on the rodeo association for a number of years, Kinder has been training. What he’s learned is that it takes quite a bit to ride a bull, or in his level of development, ride a practice bucking machine.

It takes even more for Josh, who, even though he’s lost nearly 100 pounds, still weighs in at more than 210 pounds – considerably heavier than most bull riders. He’s at a disadvantage, but he knows it. Still he’s excited about his continued development and the opportunity to ride a bull.

More importantly, this cowboy from western Kansas wants to get even closer to the sport. He is looking into joining the Kaw Valley Rodeo Association so he can help a great community event get even better.

That kind of passion is fun to see. So is Josh’s work, which you can see HERE.


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