‘The Leopard Report’ highlights athletes’ stories


Junior Colleen McNamara talks to student-athletes about their passions. (Photo courtesy of Colleen McNamara ’24)

If you’ve ever wondered what football players think about fashion, Lafayette Athletics’ newest YouTube series “The Leopard Report” has all the answers.

Hosted by junior Colleen McNamara, the series aims to get to know Lafayette’s student-athletes on a deeper level.

“Athletes are way more than athletes, so in this casual sports talk show format, my goal is to showcase Leopards’ unique story off the field in a media form that Lafayette didn’t really have yet,” McNamara said.

A student-athlete herself, McNamara has been involved in several projects with the Lafayette Sports Network, including post-game football interviews and sideline reporting at basketball games. The idea for “The Leopard Report” came about when McNamara met with members of the Lafayette men’s soccer team to record a podcast episode about a book club the players had started in Easton.

“I just thought, ‘Wow, our athletes are so well rounded and a lot of them do unique things like in the community,’” McNamara said. “I just wanted to highlight their success.”

Currently, three episodes of the series have been published. The first featured sophomore India Ralph of the women’s field hockey team, and classmate Kayla Waldron of the women’s soccer team. Ralph, who is from New Zealand, and Waldron, who has trained in her family’s home country of Trinidad, both spoke to McNamara about their experiences playing abroad.

The featured guests meet with McNamara a few days before the filming of the episode to get to know each other.

“[McNamara] talked to me about what it’s like being an international student coming to America for college, she talked to me about my family, and really sat down and got to know me, which was really nice and made me feel really comfortable,” Ralph said.

According to Ralph, though the guests have brainstormed with McNamara before, they don’t know the questions she will ask so the conversation still feels natural.

McNamara has also spoken to men’s soccer team members about their experience at a leadership conference and spoken to student-athletes about their style choices. Upcoming episodes include a feature on student-athletes who are members of Lafayette’s ROTC program and a conversation with baseball players who like to fish together in their free time.

Ideas for McNamara’s guests come from coaches, and from there, she decides how to theme the episodes. In the future, she hopes to add coaches to the mix.

McNamara hopes that the interviews will help to show another side of athletes that the campus community doesn’t often get to see.

“I think humanizing the athletes and building a community is so important,” she said. “I hope the show highlights how special these athletes are and how human they are and how much they have going for them.”

Ralph has already seen the show’s impact.

“There are some stereotypes about athletes … that we just play a sport and that’s all we do, but there’s a lot behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t get to see,” she said. “I definitely have noticed after I’ve done the episode that people I haven’t necessarily talked to though they’ve been in my class have told me that they’ve seen the episode, so that was really cool.”

As for McNamara, her own feature on “The Leopard Report” would be about her positive energy.

“My favorite things are just little holidays — celebrating birthdays, I love St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day — so I think [my episode would be] something spirited like that, spreading positivity or a happiness project on campus.”

Past and upcoming episodes of the series can be found on the Lafayette College Athletics YouTube channel.