#RYG was a springboard
Cory Hendricks-Jackman used a redundancy as a spark to the career he wanted. Using his passion for football, and Raise Your Game as a springboard, he supplemented his coaching skill with a placement at The FA, working in their equalities department team before joining Kick It Out to focus on our community outreach work.
Cory has written for us about his journey into football, how Raise Your Game has helped him and his goals for the rest of his career.
I first became aware of Kick It Out through their one of their ‘weeks of action.’ I wanted to work in football so one of the newsletters I signed up to was theirs looking for a break into the sport. It was through the newsletter that I found out about the Raise Your Game conference.
At the time, I was working in retail and debt-management, so after I was made redundant, I decided that the time was right to try and get a job within football. I’ve always had a passion for the sport and I hold a FA Level Two Coaching badge. It doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about, there’s always an outlet for that passion and with football being the national sport, there are so many ways to express that passion.
After I signed up to Raise Your Game, my expectations were weighted toward ‘what could Raise Your Game do for me?’ Kick It Out gave me information and the information I gave back allowed them to tailor my one-to-one mentoring sessions. I looked forward to speaking with them but once I was there, I adjusted my expectations.
I’d started thinking I would be leaving Raise Your Game with an opportunity handed to me, but it was different. I was given the direction to an opportunity, a springboard really. The old football adages of making your own luck or being in the right place at the right time really applied here, giving me a chance to achieve my goal.
After the event I continued to work at the club I was coaching at. All the time I was trying to talk to my contacts, asking if there was any opportunity to observe professional coaches in action, or if there were any footballing opportunities. Signing up for Raise Your Game got me on their mailing list so opportunities that were available came through to me.
One of those was a placement at The FA. I was interviewed by Troy Townsend and Kevin Coleman. The latter worked in the equalities department at The FA. I think my passion came through as the interview focused on me as a person and my work to date. Once I got the position, I was working with Kevin on the Asian Participation Forums, helping formulate the strategy for the event and following ideas through from conception to execution.
Working there helped me plan and organise meetings and Raise Your Game helped with that. It would have been easy to be intimidated, working for the governing body, but Raise Your Game had lots of prominent football personalities and once I joined The FA, I realised that both organisations had common goals.
I now work for Kick It Out, leading on their community outreach. I wouldn’t say that assisting to leading a project has been a natural progression for me, but working collaboratively with my colleagues has let the work evolve into a good piece of work that will help gauge the feeling within the grassroots football community.
I’m part of that community too. I coach girls’ football at a club in Brent called Kinja FC. The Under-15s team I coach won their age-grade league last year.
When I first set out on my journey, the ambition was to work in the Premier League, or to be a manager in a professional league. Raise Your Game showed me how difficult that could be and that it was easier to put my energy into helping others get into any part of the industry.
Kick It Out helped me to achieve my goal and I would say that I’m paying it forward now in helping others with what they do in football. If I’m doing that for the rest of my career, I will be happy!