Ahead of this year’s Raise Your Game National Conference, taking place at the Emirates Stadium on Monday April 15th, Kick It Out are pleased to confirm that freelance sports broadcaster, Anne-Marie Batson, will be one of the hosts.

Kick It Out caught up with Anne-Marie as she shared her thoughts on the value of Raise Your Game, as well as what to expect on the day.

How do you feel about hosting this year’s Raise Your Game National Conference?

“I am truly honoured to be hosting this year’s conference. I’m really excited, I’m looking forward to the day.”

What can we expect from you on the day?

“Expect energy, expect passion. I’ll be getting everyone excited for the day, I’ll be there to give advise and guidance and help them through the day, because there is a lot to take on.”

Can mentees approach you for advice?

“I want people to approach me, I want people to come up to me. I’ll go up to people and have a chat with them, I’m available to answer questions.”

What is your advice to mentees who have never attended a Raise Your Game event?

“I would advise the mentees to absorb everything, come ready with questions, it is important to come with a plan, come prepared, because this is such a unique opportunity to sit down in front of someone who works in the football industry and to bombard them with questions.”

“The mentors will want to help, every single person sat at that table will want to help. Soak up the atmosphere, get to know a couple of people. Use this opportunity to throw as many questions as you can to the mentors, because they are giving up their time to help, they want you to succeed, they want you to get into the football industry, so don’t waste the moment.”

Can Raise Your Game shape the future of mentees who want to work in the football industry?

“Raise Your Game provides a real perspective idea to somebody who wants to work in the football industry. There is no guarantee that this will lead to a job, Raise Your Game gives you an idea to a pathway of what you may need to do if you want to work in football.”

“Some people out there have no idea of how they want to work in the industry, they don’t even know where to start, they just get told to go out there and do it, but what does that mean? who can they talk to? This why Raise Your Game is so unique, like we said there is no guarantee of a job, we’re not saying that, but it’s that first step of finding out what it takes to work in the industry and what you need to do be in the industry.”

What is the best part of attending a Raise Your Game National Conference?  

“I believe the best part of attending the conference is the fact that you get to sit in front of somebody who you may never have thought you would have sat in front of, for example to sit down in front of Henry Winter from The Times, to sit down and get the opportunity to ask him questions that is amazing, you could in front of someone like Reshmin Chowdhury from BBC Sport and ask her questions, that is the best part. For me it is that unique opportunity to find out about their journey and what advice they could give to you.

“The second best part is the atmosphere, it is buzzing, it is electrifying, there’s always young people around who’s excited, they want to get into the industry, whether it is working as a coach, whether it is working in governance or finance, we are here to help them to take those first steps to help them achieve that dream.”

What makes Raise Your Game a one of a kind?

“The fact that it is free makes it unique, it is rare that we have conferences of this nature that are free, I think that makes it a brilliant initiative for people right across the board who have different circumstances, it gives everyone a equal opportunity to come to the conference.”

“What also makes it one of a kind is that you are speaking to people who are right at the top of the game, who are willing to give up their time.”