LockerRoom lost one of its best writers, with the death of sports journalist David Leggat. He was 64 years old.
David Leggat was a quiet but enthusiastic champion of women’s sport. Not that he pushed it: the veteran reporter has always been impartial in his coverage of both female and male athletes, adhering to the idea that everyone has a good story to tell.
And he was a consummate storyteller.
A sports writer for four decades, Leggat has worked freelance for LockerRoom almost since it started in 2018. He was happy to write any code, inherently knowing what made a story incredible, but he was particularly interested in sports not always in the spotlight: hockey, snow sports, rowing, horse riding and canoeing.
His natural passion, however, was cricket, no doubt influenced by his father, Gordon, who played for New Zealand and was president of the NZ Cricket Council, when he died suddenly at 46.
Leggat has traveled the world covering sports: Black Caps and All Blacks, Olympic and Commonwealth Games and World Cup tours. He started working in The Press sports department in Christchurch, moved to the now defunct NZ Press Association here and in London, and then went to the New Zealand Herald. He was one of my sports editors there, but we met in 1994, writing about the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Although he had been around the traps, he had a knack for making newcomers to the press box feel welcome and included. Her sense of humor and quirks about him, like having a nickname for everyone or just putting off “champion”, would put you at ease. His nickname, in sports media around the world, was Leggo.
With notebook in hand, he had a special charm and genuine interest that would make the most of the people he chatted with. He was always intrigued by what they had to say and, more often than not, he had a story to share after the interview itself. Again, a true storyteller.
The point where he really made his mark on LockerRoom was with his “Where is he now?” characteristics, looking back at the careers of some of our greatest athletes and where her life has taken them ever since.
From rowing pioneer Stephanie Fosterour highest scoring single participant Belinda Cordwell, Commonwealth Video games 1990 excessive soar gold medalist Tania Murray, and her newest piece on the 2000 World Cup profitable White Ferns.
These tales have been excellent for Leggo. His data of sports activities was huge, he had a shiny reminiscence for video games and faces, however he was at all times open to studying extra about folks and sports activities. Though to be trustworthy, there weren’t many who he wasn’t conscious of.
Newsroom co-editor Tim Murphy was editor-in-chief of the Herald, working with Leggat as a sports activities editor and chief sports activities author. “David was the calmest and most useful skilled and folks beloved working with him and for him.”
In April, Murphy was eager to observe Leggat’s day by day updates from the Nationwide Rowing Championships on Lake Ruataniwha in April, which he wrote for Rowing New Zealand.
“As soon as once more, as he has accomplished for therefore a few years, he was there to inform about an Olympic sport and athletes. His tales have been so stunning and delicately revealing. It is uncommon to be so skilled and educated about so many sports activities and nonetheless have that spark, that fascination with the challenges athletes face and what readers want to know, ”says Murphy.
An electronic mail arrived within the Newsroom from John Hudson after one in all Leggat’s many tales summed up the gratitude he had garnered for his journalism. “I’m Piera Hudson’s father. Piera was the topic of your December 10 article which primarily lined her current success of her in Killington, USA, within the Ladies’s World Cup slalom,” she wrote.
“On behalf of all of us concerned within the Alpine scene we want to thanks for such a nicely researched and written article. For these concerned in much less lined sports activities in New Zealand, it’s a welcome breath of contemporary air to have a complete and correctly researched article on a really worldwide sport wherein few kiwi women and men compete and attain the very best degree “.
Leggat was honored for his excellent contribution to journalism in 2017, when he was named a life member of the New Zealand Sports activities Journalists Affiliation.
He was additionally a loving husband to Jacqui and a loyal father to her youngsters, James and Nicholas. He died abruptly whereas swimming, on Lake Como, Italy, the place he was on trip along with his household. He can be missed by many who’ve been fortunate sufficient to cross paths with him and the readers of LockerRoom.
Pip, pip I learn.