Former mentee Daryl Hammond speaks ahead of Media #RYG17
Kick It Out’s Media Raise Your Game conference is an opportunity for people hoping to get a foothold in the football media industry to receive advice and guidance.
Ahead of the conference at BBC New Broadcasting House in London on Wednesday 19 July 2017, the organisation spoke to mentors and members of the opening panel discussion coming to the event.
First up, Kick It Out spoke to Daryl Hammond, previous mentee at the event and now freelance journalist who has worked for the BBC, about his path into football media and experience of attending Raise Your Game.
Sport has always played a huge part in Daryl Hammond’s life, but like many others, playing professionally was never really an option.
“A passion for sport developed for me very early. My father was heavily involved in football and really pushed me towards watching a lot of that, and so that manifested over time. I also played a lot of sport, but I wasn’t the best! So I knew that wasn’t going to be my pathway.”
Despite initially being unsure of the industry he wanted to work in, Daryl eventually decided that pursuing a career in media was the best option for him.
“I went to the University of Huddersfield to study Sports Journalism to hone my craft and I had a lot of fun with it,” he said. “Throughout it I got to cover a lot of interesting stories and meet loads of interesting people as well.
“I came out of university and freelanced for a bit and then joined a company called London 360, who help train journalists further. One way they did this was they allowed you to produce television features for London Live. It wasn’t wholly sports-based but I tried to feature as much sport as I could.”
Soon after leaving London 360, Daryl’s work would send him in the direction of Kick It Out’s Media Raise Your Game conference.
He explained: “I was at another freelance company that filmed non-league football when one of my colleagues said to me that Kick It Out had this event going on about football media. So I got the coach up to Manchester, and heard from all of these interesting people on how they managed to make their way at the BBC and from that I was really inspired.”
The event proved a crucial point in developing Daryl’s career, particularly thanks to a conversation with Shelley Alexander, BBC Sport’s Lead for Diversity and Women’s Sport and Chair of Kick It Out’s Mentoring Delivery Group.
“I spoke to people like Shelley and a few months later she gets in touch and mentioned that the BBC might have some work available for me and would I be interested? There was also an opportunity through Shelley to do some work covering Women’s Super League games – so I went up to Durham from London to cover a match.
“I was very nervous and new to it but I thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s how I became entrenched with the BBC, and 18 months later I am still freelancing with them.”
Daryl hailed the importance of the Media Raise Your Game in providing him and many others the opportunity to advance their careers.
“Events such as Raise Your Game are massively important, especially in journalism,” he remarked. “There are a lot of people trying to make it into the industry out there, people working hard to achieve successful careers but sometimes you need that extra edge or that bit of advice, which can make a massive difference.
“I know a lot of journalists around my age who are still trying to make it in any way they can – and that’s where I believe Raise Your Game can help, by offering people that crucial step to enhance their prospects.”
This year, Daryl returns to Media Raise Your Game to take part in a panel discussion that will kick-off the conference, and he is looking forward to sharing his experiences with people in a similar position to where he was just a couple years ago.
“I’ll be in attendance and I think it will be exciting,” he said. “I’ve been to a few of these events but never as someone who can give advice. I don’t consider myself to be too far along in my journalism journey, but if I can give back anything the way Kick It Out has given to me then that is an amazing opportunity which I cannot turn down.
“The main thing I think I can offer to mentees is hope. I’ve seen people pack it in after years and years of trying to break into the industry, so I feel it’s a case of giving people the opportunity to put themselves out there. I know it’s a tough thing to say but people just have to keep trying and hopefully I can help motivate to keep going and offer my advice on how they can improve their chances.”