A budding reporter inspired by a popular broadcaster battled back from critical illness and surgery to realise his radio dreams.
Former Coleg Cambria student Ron Squire is now a presenter with Towyn-based Sound Radio Wales, following a torrid 12 months.
As well as living with the Coronavirus pandemic, the 25 year-old was rushed to hospital last summer when doctors identified tumours on his lung and thyroid gland.
Fortunately, the tumours were dormant, and benign, but it was a shock to the system and drove Ron, from Prestatyn, to “make the leap” and become a sports journalist.
As a Creative Media Production student at Cambria’s Deeside site, he was in attendance when broadcaster Jason Mohammad gave a workshop and answered questions on his 24-year career in TV and radio.
“That was the catalyst for me, to be able to learn from a legend like Jason was an amazing experience,” said Ron.
“He told us to “aim high” and was very encouraging, so from that point on I decided to go for it.”
He added: “I started to do some presenting with Sound Radio Wales when I became ill; I thought it was asthma but after blood tests they found I had tumours on my lung and thyroid.
“It was a scary time and a tolling experience, but I stayed positive and handled it pretty well with the help of my family.
“I was calm on the outside but so nervous, especially when I had surgery – luckily, everything went well, and I am feeling much better.”
Ron thanked staff at Cambria for their guidance and following the success of his show Squire on Sport (SOS) would love a career on the airwaves.
He is now back on Sound Radio Wales delivering sports news every Monday afternoon and helps with design and administrative tasks.
“I won’t let anything stop me, I still have regular check-ups but feel fit and well,” Ron added.
“I’m making plans, the station is going in an exciting new direction and I’m happy to be a part of that.
“After what I’ve been through – and everyone has been through a difficult year – I am enjoying life and trying lots of different things, one step at a time.”
Jason Mohammad congratulated Ron on showing such dedication and passion in difficult circumstances.
“I was so delighted to see Ron move into local radio,” said Jason.
“Many of the class had never experienced a live studio environment before I arrived onto campus that day.
“Knowing that I’ve inspired Ron and many others in our sessions in North and South Wales to take up a career in radio or journalism is just wonderful.
“Ron was brilliant that day hosting the sports news and I hope that once we are able to work together again, I can come back to the college and continue the great work we started over those two days.”
Richard Hewitt, Creative Media Production lecturer at Coleg Cambria, added:
“Ron was always interested in becoming a presenter with his very keen interest in all things sports related, especially football and Formula One.
“But it wasn't really until he met Jason that he was persuaded to pursue a career as a presenter.
“The team remembers when he first started doing work at the radio station during his final year at the college, where he would ask his fellow students and lecturers for music requests and any sport-related topics he could discuss and play during his afternoon show.
“Ron was a pleasure to work with, showing a determination to succeed in everything he tried to achieve. I have no doubt he will continue to be a great asset to the radio station, and we are extremely proud to know Cambria has helped in his career development.”
Sound Radio Director Craig Kennealey added:
“Ron is an enthusiastic and valued member of the Sound Radio team. After joining us, he has gone on to produce and present his own show, bringing his love of sports reporting to the station and learning new skills from it.
“In recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his health issues it was important to keep Ron involved as a volunteer.
“With advances in technology and the internet Ron has been able to remain a part of the team from home, producing a weekly sports bulletin and create graphics for the radio stations, which will no doubt help improve his skills and portfolio for the future.”
For more information on the wide range of courses available at Coleg Cambria, visit the website: www.cambria.ac.uk
Follow Jason Mohammad on social media for information on broadcasting workshops: @jasonmohammad.