Jobs In Skateboarding - Community Manager

Jobs In Skateboarding - Community Manager

Jobs In Skateboarding - Community Manager.

Looking from the outside in it may seem as if jobs in skateboarding are few and far between, but once you delve deeper into the possibilities there's a plethora of careers surrounding our favourite toy. We hit up as many people as possible to investigate deeper to ask ‘What do you even do?’, so hopefully you’ll learn something new and find helpful ways to get into our so-called skateboarding industry. 

As well as coaching and being a professional freestyle skateboarder Denham has been putting the work in behind-the-scenes for LS-Ten as a Community Manager.

Jobs In Skateboarding - Community Manager - Denham Hill at Desk

 

What's your name?
Denham Hill

What is your current role and who do you work for?
I'm the Community Manager at LS-TEN Skatepark in Leeds. I also deliver the SkateboardGB Get Rolling Course, training new skate coaches across the U.K. 

What is it that you actually do? / What takes up a majority of your work time?
A lot of my day is spent booking in school groups for skateboarding sessions, or applying for funding to deliver skateboarding projects in areas of disadvantage across the city. We apply for funding so that we can offer the opportunity to skate for free to young people who might not usually have access due to a number of barriers to participation. I also deliver skateboarding lessons on a 1-2-1 basis most days, and coach the school groups too. 

Did you have any roles in the skate industry before this?

I was working for Sk8 Safe from 2014(?) - 2016(?) (which has now disbanded unfortunately) delivering skateboarding projects in Leeds and further afield, as well as delivering the SkateboardGB Course. Once Sk8 Safe ended, I was doing a bunch of other jobs for a while before the job at LS-TEN came around in 2019. I was completely out on my luck at the time, and the job here came along at just the right time. 

What’s the best thing about your job?
Having the opportunity to share skateboarding with young people who may never have accessed it otherwise. Our focus is on introducing skateboarding to those who need it the most, and seeing the difference that skateboarding makes to young people who don't always have much they can take ownership of and enjoy, is amazing. It's the sense of being able to give something back, and to perhaps provide someone with a pastime that can become a longstanding, positive influence in their life. As skateboarders we all love what we do, so why keep it to ourselves? 

My managers are all incredibly understanding when I need time to work on my own skateboarding career too. They've offered me a huge amount of support when contest season comes around which I'm incredibly grateful for. 

What’s the worst thing about your job?
I honestly can't think of many things I dislike about my job. I know that sounds like such a predictable response, but I'm incredibly grateful for the job I have and I have no problem sweeping the bad days under the carpet knowing that 'Past-Denwad' would look at 'Present Denwad' and think "What you're doing is rad. Why did you waste so much time working with tropical fish?" (nothing against the fish, I love fish, but it wasn't my life's calling. Sorry fish.)

Any advice for skateboarders out there who want to pursue your line of work?
If a mongo-pushing freestyle skateboarder can find a career in skateboarding, you can too. On a serious note though, there's so much more opportunity out there now. Skateboard coaching has become a viable means of making a living and it's absolutely possible to get yourself set up as a coach. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be easy though!

Find some opportunities to volunteer, and make the very best of those opportunities by applying a good work ethic and attitude. It's important to have as much passion for other people's skating as you do your own, and that's a balance that isn't always that common. 

Finally, don't listen to anyone who says you can't do it. A few years ago, I left a well paid, secure job with good prospects (the fish one) to start my career in skateboarding, and was reminded regularly of the "huge mistake" I was making. I'd be lying if I said it was all smooth sailing, but it's worth some periods of hardship to have the career you've always wanted. Go get it, no one can stop you. 
Jobs In Skateboarding - Community Manager - Denham Hill Handstand Flip
photo : Tom Welford
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