A must for anyone who wants that dream job in football!
On Monday @charlie-pumfrey and I had the pleasure of attending Kick It Out’s Raise Your Game 2018 conference held at the Emirates stadium. It was a fantastic opportunity to network with sporting professionals at the very top of the game. In no other place would I as a student be in the same room as over 100 industry experts who had given up their time to help people who like me wanted to get into the industry.
For those who don’t know how the day works it’s split into two sections (morning and afternoon). In the morning I had two workshops. The first workshop was with Reshmin Chowdhury, who you will often see do interviews on BT Sport’s Champions League coverage and Eilidh Barbour from the BBC. Both gave great insight into their career paths to date and what it was like working in the industry. The second session was a coaching workshop led by FA County Coach Developer Anthony Ferguson. His session was superb. It motivated me so much that I wanted to coach the teams I have had the pleasure to coach this season right there and then. I came away from the workshops energise and motivated to raise my game! They were so good that I had actually missed lunch, fuelled on adrenaline instead.
To kick-off the afternoon session we heard from Leon Mckenzie, the former Norwich City striker turned boxer who shared his story and the project he is working on now a site called LAPS, looking at life at careers after football for players.
Next, I had three one-to-one meetings with mentors scheduled with Premier League Productions Kelly Somers, Premier League’s Lisa Piggott and TalkSport’s Tom Rennie. All three offered some extremely useful advice for me regarding how I can get into the industry. For those who don’t know me, I’m close to finishing the final year of a Football Business degree at UCFB and I’m keen to put what I have learnt over the last three into practice.
You could really feel the buzz in the room with lots of discussions taking place. What I loved about these one-to-one sessions were that if there was someone who was free you could go over and have a chat with them. I ended up speaking with Chris Paouros who was a lovely lady who works for Proud Lilywhites and The FA, she also gave some honest and useful advice regarding my next steps. I was very fortunate to have met all four mentors and really appreciate their time having to put up with me rambling.
And just like that, the day was over and it was time to leave. Just before I left I managed to speak to The Times Cheif Football Writer Henry Winter who spared his time after the conference to speak to five of us. He could of quite easily of walked straight out the door. He stayed and listened to us all individually, giving us advice and support about the industry. If there was ever something to sum up what makes the event special it would be that. Everyone who has given up their time wants to give something back and help others into the industry. That’s something that I was incredibly thankful for. A massive thank you to the Kick It Out team and of course Troy Townsend for putting on such an amazing event, which like Troy said at the start of the day it has the potential to change peoples lives.
Featured Image from Kick It Out’s Twitter