Meet the Post Independent’s new education, sports and A&E reporter
Rich Allen is no stranger to the Roaring Fork Valley — he moved here with his girlfriend, a Carbondale native, earlier this summer. Prior to moving to Glenwood, Allen worked as a sports and general assignment reporter for the St. George News in St. George, Utah, after interning as a media relations assistant with the New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball team.
Allen grew up in Nederland in a wood-stove heated home and brings a familiarity with the small Colorado mountain town lifestyle. He is an avid follower of professional hockey and baseball, calling the Colorado Avalanche his favorite team and can often be found sporting a cap from a Minor League Baseball team you’ve never heard of. He graduated from Metropolitan State University in Denver in 2018 with a bachelor of arts in journalism.
Allen talked with Editor Peter Baumann during his first week about settling in Glenwood Springs and what he looks forward to at the Post Independent.
You have a wide variety of reporting experience, but a lot of that is in sports. How do you think your background in sports benefits your overall approach to journalism?
The sports world was my introduction to journalism and taught me all of my mechanics. I believe sports parallel the more important aspects of our lives. The idea of accomplishing goals, like winning a game, isn’t unique to sports but is sometimes much more tangible in a football game. Sports are also just a fantastic way to connect with people and have taught me a lot about doing just that.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
What do you enjoy most so far about life in the Roaring Fork Valley?
It’s really helped me reconnect with my childhood. Since my graduation from Nederland High School, I’ve bounced around mostly major metropolitan areas and lost some of the taste of living in a smaller mountain town. Near-immediate access to trails, hidden gems down rough dirt roads, losing cell service every now and then, the small-community intimacy, all of it has been refreshing. I still get to Ned every once in a while to visit but never long enough to immerse myself.
What is it about community journalism in Garfield County that you’re most excited about? What’s your assessment of our news environment so far?
Garfield County has a fantastic blend of different kinds of people from all walks of life, from local to tourist, English speaker to Spanish, uber-rich to financially struggling. I’m very excited to try my best to serve all these different groups and learn about them. I’ve admired the coverage of the cool things going on here from afar for a while.
What are you most excited about in the coming year?
Just like everyone else, I’m most excited about the slow inching toward a return to normal. I’m excited to be able to showcase local students, entertainers and athletes as they continue to push through the adversity of COVID-19 and, hopefully, pass through the end of the tunnel with the rest of us. I’m also excited to branch out from my sports background and continue to grow as a journalist.
What are some ways you enjoy being involved in the community, and what are three fun things you’re most likely doing if not working?
I enjoy checking out the major events like festivals and farmers markets and trying local restaurants. Eventually I’ll find some groups to join, probably in the recreational sports world. My three fun things are checking out the mountains, watching sports on TV or patronizing one of the aforementioned restaurants.
Is there anything else you’d like the community to know? If a reader wants to reach out, what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
I’m just honored and excited to be able to learn about the community and tell its stories. I want to do right by the locals and visitors alike. Anyone who wants to discuss anything pertaining to the education, arts, entertainment or sports worlds, complain about the Colorado Rockies’ ownership or has any good bar recommendations can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Rich_M_Allen. I can’t wait to talk to y’all.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament this weekend.