OVER THE past few months I’ve been seen commenting and writing a lot about the issue that just won’t go away in football: racism.
Incident after incident – where’s Troy? Outcome – where’s Troy? How can we implement change – where’s Troy?
I appreciate the platform that I have, which comes with a massive level of responsibility that I’m more than happy to take on, mainly due to my own personal experiences when playing and being racially victimised.
During those days, there was no one to turn to, no one gave me any advice or guidance. There is definitely more to this Troy than just that.
So, I want to promote the other area of my work that only this platform truly allows me to.
The reason I came to work at Kick It Out was due to their mentoring initiative, which celebrates 10 years in 2020. It’s a concept that provided me with opportunity and one that I now gratefully lead on.
Raise Your Game (RYG) is Kick It Out’s mentoring programme and has seen many aspiring individuals gain access to employment opportunities, work shadowing or placements within football.
This year, we kick off with three exciting events over the next few months. RYG Intermediary starts us off on Wednesday, February 19 in partnership with Unique Sports Management (USM).
USM is a football management agency that will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about the business of football from a representing player perspective. Unfortunately, this event is closed, generally, as we have a cohort of young people waiting to attend.
RYG Media is next up on Friday, March 6 and we have the massive privilege of hosting it at the amazing Sky Central Studios.
Sky will provide a unique insight into a variety of job possibilities with the media outlet. It’s a real chance for those interested in media to develop knowledge and an understanding of what it takes to work within a big, corporate media company.
Finally, as part of International Women’s Day we will again be providing an exclusive space for young women with an appetite for working in football, with an event tailored specifically to empowering them to believe.
Various workshops will be accessible on the day, including media and coaching, all taking place on Monday, March 9 at Stamford Bridge – the home of Chelsea Football Club.
Our biggest event, the annual national conference, has no definite date as yet, but will once again be held at the Emirates Stadium in late April.
Always important to note is that Raise Your Game events are designed to support those from under-represented groups, as Kick It Out tries to address the imbalance of football’s workforce.
It’s a programme that has seen many high-profile people give back by mentoring the game’s next generation.
Ten years on, I believe we are making a very good job of what it says on the tin, but we must keep growing.
If any of the above is of interest, or if you want any further advice on the Raise Your Game series, please email Events@kickitout.org.
Troy Townsend is the head of development for Kick It Out.