Tahir Hajat is currently carving out a successful freelance career as a sports and events host, with appearances on Sky Sports and ITV4 already under his belt, plus visits to the USA, where he’s commentated on major basketball league games, in front of tens of thousands of fans.
When asked how he got into his “dream job”, the 30-year-old told Pukaar that it started “almost accidentally”, with an intense passion for sport, in particular basketball, which he enjoyed from a young age…
It was in 2014 whilst working as a coach for the Leicester Riders basketball team, that Tahir got his first sports hosting opportunity, and realised that it was not only something that he enjoyed, but also something which he excelled in.
People noted his natural ability, and word soon spread about Tahir’s talent – his youthful energy, ability to engage a crowd and to create an exciting atmosphere within a sporting arena.
It was a springboard for success, which led to him being asked to host games for the British Basketball League, something which he labels as “the catalyst” for his career.
“If I could talk about anything for a long time, it would be basketball, so I kind of hit the road running and never looked back”, he said of his initial hosting experience.
“It was something which came quite easily. I like to talk and that together with my sporting passion go hand in hand really”.
Tahir’s bosses at the British Basketball League were so impressed with his performance, that they recommended him to Matchroom Sport – one of the world’s largest suppliers of sports programming.
Through Matchsport, Tahir has appeared on Sky Sports, ITV4 and Eurosport, and is currently using his skills in order to branch out into new areas of the sporting catalogue, including snooker, pingpong and ten-pin bowling.
“These are sports I don’t know so much about, but my skillset allows me to cross over into them and bring the same energy and excitement”, he revealed.
“Of course you have to do your homework, and spend a lot of time with people who know about the various sports, and also try your hand at them as well”, he added.
“I’m not so good with a cue in my hand, but you’ve got to start somewhere!”
As well as basketball, Tahir is a keen lover of football, and is a loyal Leicester City supporter.
He currently works as one of the stadium announcers at the King Power stadium and is credited with being the first ever British Asian muslim Premiere League announcer in the history of the sport – “a huge milestone”, he says.
Although he has achieved a lot in his career so far, which he manages alongside his role at local charity Mighty Creatives, Tahir says that he’d love to be able to use his voice to help promote basketball within the UK.
In the years to come, he’d also love to build his own basketball facility in Leicester in order to help young people embrace the sport he loves.
“As far as my announcing goes, I’m very fortunate to have experienced what I have done so far, but I’m excited to see how far it can go”, he added.
“If you don’t throw yourself in and give it 110 per cent, you’ll never know what the outcome could have been.
“I’ll just continue to work hard without a doubt, and above all be myself”.