In the past semester, two Cornell students have traded in their hockey sticks for microphones and tennis rackets for headphones as they try to amplify the stories of athletes of color and women athletes.
‘AMPED’ is hosted by Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey forward and Cornell Women’s Lacrosse Attackman Finley Frechette ’21 and Cornell Women’s Tennis’ Khary Pryce ’22. Big Red Sports Network created the podcast with a mission to amplify the voices of women, people of color and other underrepresented groups in athletics.
“We think that these stories are really necessary to be told, especially in today’s time,” said Frechette.
Frechette built off of her previous experience as a host on a 24-episode hockey podcast called ‘Over the Goal Line’, which has made the process of starting the podcast easier for Pryce — who has never worked with podcasts or radio.
“I sort of already had my podcast style and how to interview people, but I was ready to take my expertise and channel it to something a little bit bigger than just the hockey community,” Frechette said .
While the pandemic has posed challenges to organizing and facilitating interviews, Pryce and Frechette have found ways to adapt. Despite its drawbacks conducting all of their interviews virtually has enabled the duo to interview people as far away as France and Russia.
“The chemistry and the comradery that you miss when you’re not sitting next to somebody certainly has to be a barrier to overcome,” Pryce said.
Even amid the challenges of the pandemic, Pryce and Frechette have received a lot of positive feedback from the podcast’s audience so far.
“I think overall it’s a positive reception because these stories don’t get told so much,” said Frechette. “What I’m excited for and that I’ve heard people say is how relatable the stories are that I’m telling.”
Frechette, who hosts the upcoming second season, has yet to release any of the episodes she recorded. But she is excited about an episode featuring Kim Wyant, the head coach of men’s soccer at New York University and the only female head coach of a men’s soccer team in the NCAA.
“I discuss what her life has been like in challenges that she’s faced being the head coach of a men’s soccer team,” said Frechette. “Her stories were very relatable to me because I grew up playing hockey with the boys through sophomore and freshman year of high school.”
On the other hand, Pryce has released five episodes. She is specifically proud of her episode featuring Alafia Ayeni ’21 of the men’s tennis team and Jada Davis ’20 of the women’s equestrian team, two students of color, and their involvement in predominantly white sports.
Pryce and Frechette will join forces for an upcoming third season of the podcast, which does not have a set release date. The new season will feature interviews with student athletes, alumni and national figures from a larger range of identity groups in athletics and will discuss pervasive issues related to the intersectionality of race and society, especially regarding social justice.
Pryce and Frechette aim to capture a larger audience through continued outreach and a focus on their empowerment message, and they emphasized that the podcast isn’t intended to be just for student athletes.
“Being that the ‘only’ in any room is universal, whether you’re the only person of color or the only woman in a room and that’s not kept to being a student athlete,” Pryce said.