Quinn Phillips is a reporter and anchor for Global News Edmonton. Her father, former radio announcer for the Oilers, Rod Phillips, fostered her love for the game when she was young and she’s worked hard to create a name for herself in the sports world since.
We chatted with her about how her love of sports started and her experience as a sports reporter in Edmonton, Alberta.
MEET QUINN PHILLIPS
Who is Quinn?!
What’s your day job?
I’m a sports reporter and anchor with Global Edmonton.
What are your passions?
The first thing that comes to mind for me is golf. I’ve fallen so hard for the sport, I just live my life waiting for golf season. I really need to take lessons, one day I will be able to afford it. For now, I just spend my money getting on the course, and paying for new balls to replace the buckets that I lose.
Another passion of mine would be health and wellness. I meditate for mental health. I try to educate people on mental health. And I’m very driven to stay healthy through exercise and eating healthy. I’m always looking for new ways to stay fit. I love to push myself at the gym (pre-pandemic). Now that the weather is warming up I love to get outside and connect with nature. But I really do love pushing myself and seeing what limits I can push.
What’s something interesting about you that not many people know?
I love live music. I guess it’s another passion of mine, but I’ve pursued music by going to multiple festivals. My favourite was Lollapalooza in Chicago. I can’t wait to go back when this pandemic is over. I’m planning on 2022, as a 10 year reunion of my first time going to the festival. I highly recommend it, it’s got something for everyone and it’s so much fun in one of the coolest cities in North America.
Also, I’m like my dad (but not as bad), I don’t love flying. I force myself to do it, obviously, but I can’t imagine how my dad did it for all those years. Especially considering they used to fly commercial and were getting on planes almost daily. He told me he’d bury himself in Oilers stats, reviewing absolutely everything.
We can imagine hockey was in your genes growing up with your dad, Rod, calling Oilers games, but can you take us through your journey into hockey and sports reporting?
So what’s funny is that I LOVED being at the rink. I went with my dad as much as possible. Practices, games, any excuse to be there… but I never played the game. My parents asked me if I wanted to and I said no. It haunts me to this day, I wish I played and could play now. Ugh. To be honest though, there wasn’t a lot of girls playing hockey when I was growing up. Not like today as the landscape continues to change for the women’s game.
Have you faced any barriers or hardships being a woman in the hockey community, especially as a woman in sports media?
If I’m being honest, I do have to say I feel like I’ve always been lucky. I don’t know if it’s growing up around the game that gave me a comfort, but I’ve never felt out of place at the rink. I always really got along with most of the coaches and players of teams I covered.
There was one hockey team that apparently the coach had said something about me in the dressing room. I won’t divulge too much because I’ve never confirmed that it actually happened, but I did have a bit of a problem with some of the players seeing me as a pretty blonde girl rather than a reporter. Getting asked out during interviews, or excessive flirting. That was only one season though and I held my own. I think most women can understand the art of brushing things off when they were younger. It wouldn’t be the same today, the guy would wish that never happened.
What does hockey mean to you?
Hockey is a comfort for me. I still absolutely love being around the rink like when I was a kid. And the other thing for me is it’s a wonderful social aspect of my life. I love going to games and having a few beers and running in o friends new and old.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to pursue a career in sports journalism/broadcasting?
Don’t be afraid of change. The industry is doing just that right now, and you’ve gotta move with it. Think forward. Innovate. You want to be a part of this, because it’s wild. You’ll have experiences you could never imagine.
My other advice is always: BE YOURSELF. To me that’s such an important quality, especially on air.
If you could go back and talk to a 16-year-old Quinn, what would you tell her?
Well, first I’d tell her she shouldn’t have quit swimming. And when she played water polo she should’ve been so much more confident in her strength.
Confidence is something I’ve always battled. I wish I could’ve understood that my work ethic should’ve given me confidence in what I was doing.
What’s your favourite part of being a part of the Edmonton sports community?
Right now it’s hard because of the pandemic, so there’s not a ton I LOVE at the moment (everyone reading this is like “same, same”). I like being able to go to the rink and experience an empty building during a game, pretty crazy memory I’ll have. I don’t like only speaking to players on zoom and never seeing my media friends.
If I’m being honest, my favourite part is just to be on the inside and getting to experience things that fans can’t. Being around Connor and Leon; seeing the dressing room in the new building; traveling to cover the playoffs. Sometimes I just think I have to pinch myself.
Did you ever feel pressure to be involved in sports because of your dad’s career and status within the sports community and do you ever feel like you’re under the shadow of “Rod Phillips’ daughter” rather than being YOU, Quinn Phillips? If so, how do you deal with this or does it even bother you?
You know what’s weird, I never felt that way. From the beginning of my career until now. My dad helped me before I ever got in to broadcasting; he used to bring home news scripts from 630 CHED and make me read them and he’d always provide feedback and advice. It felt like such a dad thing at the time, I remember being so annoyed.
After that, everything I got I worked for. I didn’t start in the big market because my dad’s name. I worked part time at A Channel when I was at NAIT. My first on air job was in Yorkton, Saskatchewan; I spent nine months there doing news during the day and then going to sporting events at night so I could get that experience. Then I moved on to Lethbridge and Red Deer.
I loved what my dad did and how it shaped me and my love for sports media.