Kick It Out and BBC Sport show mentees how to 'Get Into Football Media'
Kick It Out teamed up with BBC Sport to give mentees a unique insight into the football media industry at a conference held in Media City, Salford, on Monday 23 November.
Hosted by Shelley Alexander, Editorial Lead for Women’s Sport, and Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s Education and Development Manager, aspiring writers and broadcasters made their way to the home of BBC Sport as they heard from the likes of Andrew Clement, Robyn Anwar and Jess Creighton.
‘Get Into Football Media’ began with a networking session as mentees spoke with each other about their backgrounds and their aspirations for careers within football. This was followed by a test of the mentees’ footballing knowledge through a quiz.
The first speaker of the event was Andrew Clement, Executive Director of Domestic Football for BBC Sport. Andrew spoke in detail on his career with the corporation, particularly on his work on Match Of The Day as well as being part of the production team on European Championships and World Cups.
Robyn Cowen then spoke to the audience about her career as a football commentator. She explained how she has risen through the ranks of the corporation to commentate on local radio to Final Score.
A short film was then displayed showing some of the success stories from Kick It Out’s Mentoring and Leadership Programme. Simone Stewart, who features in the film, then spoke to the audience about her pathway in the game and her relationship with Shelley Alexander.
Paul Fletcher, part of BBC Sport’s editorial team, then gave a brief discussion on the importance of the BBC Sport website and the impact of digital and social media as news outlets in the modern world.
Finally, Jess Creighton, freelance presenter and broadcaster, spoke about her career as a sports journalist over the past seven years and how she combines her work while currently playing for Stockport County Ladies.
Speaking after the conference had finished, Jess said: “My advice to the mentees is that you need passion. You really do need to love what you’re doing.
“This industry is very harsh, it can be very fickle. Lots of long hours. So you really need to love what you’re doing to make it not feel like work.
“I’m living the dream at the moment. I’m being paid to write about sport, to talk about sport, and I love it and it doesn’t feel like work. If you have that passion, you can do the same thing too.”
Andrew spoke of his pleasure of being part of ‘Get Into Football Media’: “I really enjoyed today. It’s always good to meet people who are interested in what we do and I try and give them some advice and insight into how we do it.
“The industry has changed a lot. People are more capable now, certainly with the internet and technology available, people can now shoot footage and cut it themselves so they are way ahead. “
Paul was delighted with the engagement of the mentees in attendance: “I think its invaluable to pass on knowledge. That’s why we’re there and that’s where the next generation is going to come from.
“The more help, advice and tips you can give is vital and also you can judge an audience, to some extent, by the number of questions they ask and what sort of questions they ask, and I thought there was a lot of good questions there. They were engaged, switched on and keen to learn.”