We believe that football is the most powerful tool in the world for inspiring young people to achieve their goals.
Jasper Kain: Co-Director, Coach
“I am happiest when I am playing, watching and talking about football. It brings the same unmanageable joy and personal development to millions worldwide and has the power to enrich people’s lives and support communities.”
Jasper Kain set up Football Beyond Borders with a group of friends whilst studying at the University of London. Having played for Chelsea youth, he had aspirations like so many other teenagers of becoming a professional footballer. He was released but reflected that football had been the most important aspect of his life growing up and had the capacity to transform the lives of countless others.
He is passionate about making learning relevant and fun and sees football as the perfect way of motivating young people who are disengaged. He is an Ernie Shackleton Award winner and was shortlisted for the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards in 2015.
Jack Reynolds: Co-Director, Central Midfield
“Football is the key to making so much learning accesible. Whether it’s arguing about the merits of different players, or using data to compare teams, football is a fantastic way to develop so many of the key educational skills which young people need”
Jack was one of the founders of FBB in 2009 and took part in the first tour to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. He trained on the Civil Service Faststream at the Ministry of Justice and worked as the COO at the Sunday Assembly. He leads on FBB’s key operational priorities of strategy, fundraising, finance, recruitment and evaluation and monitoring. Jack started FBB as he sees football as the perfect tool to inspire young people to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
Tom “Pez” Rodriguez Perez: Head of Communications and Community, Wing Back
“Growing up in Zimbabwe and playing barefoot made me realise why football has become a universal language: anyone can play it, and it doesn’t take much to get a game going. Football’s level playing field reminds us of our common humanity by stripping away all our superficial differences.”
If you’ve heard about FBB, the chances are it is because of a tweet, article or campaign led by Tom or “Pez” as he is widely known. He joined FBB in 2010 and played a central role in the 2011 tour to Egypt, Palestine and Jordan. After that tour Pez was appointed as our Head of Communications. Pez’s frenetic energy, positivity and commitment has transformed FBB into a powerful voice in football related activism.
Pez joined FBB because it combined his two passions of football & social justice. Since joining FBB, Pez has led on campaigns like #LivingWageFootball, become a qualified FA Level 2 Coach as part of the #LondonUnited coach training programme, and also received TV presenter training from the Youth Media Agency as part of the preparations for FBB TV. Pez now also leads on community fundraising at FBB, which includes running events such as FBB quizzes.
Joseph Watfa: Head of Delivery, Centre Midfielder
“The power of football is unrivalled, when I play all my problems vanish and while it can divide, more often it brings people together to share countless emotions. For me, FBB is about utilizing football’s unifying power and the passion it stirs to engage with people and work towards positive change.”
Joseph is one of our founding members of FBB, and went on our first ever tour to the Middle East in 2009. He then went on to become project lead for the 2011 Tour to Egypt, Jordan and Palestine before delivering his first FBB Schools session in 2014. He works on engaging key influencers in education and inequality and on expanding FBB’s policy capacity. In addition he’s helping to develop and deliver the FBB Curriculum.
Tim Jones: Head of Coaching, The Makelele Role
“Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is” -Cruyff
Tim Jones (TJ) has been a football coach in Jersey (his hometown), USA, Wales and England. Graduating from the University of South Wales last year, he currently coaches their Women’s football 1st team in the BUCS leagues. Since August he has taken a position as a lead coach with the Foundation Phase at Bristol Rovers. For FBB he is a project lead in Cardiff and the compiler of the FBB football coaching curriculum. He is excited to see the future success of our participants and for the task of continuing to provide them with engaging and challenging practices.
Rebekah Keane: Fundraising and Female Participation Coordinator, Right Wing
“Football is unique: it can unite, it can instil passion, it can cross borders and challenge boundaries. Most importantly, football can help young people to become self-advocates and command their narrative.”
Rebekah recently joined the FBB team. She has a background in theatre, youth participation and is a trained facilitation practitioner, with experience in the education system working with disenfranchised students and as a class teacher. Rebekah works on the fundraising team and will be exploring how FBB can strengthen their support for female participation. Rebekah believes that FBB harnesses the transformative properties of football in a unique way, with education at its core and an impressive commitment to the young people they serve.
Bruk Abdu: Project Lead in London, Attacking Midfield
“I joined Football Beyond Borders because it combined my passion for football with my interest in development. I grew up in south London and I felt there was something I could contribute towards my community through this unique and innovative organisation.”
Bruk joined FBB in January 2014 to lead on the delivery of the FBB Wanderers project in south London. The project offers weekly football and mentoring sessions to empower young people in an area of south London which has been hit hard by cuts to youth services. Bruk is now a fully qualified FA Level 2 football coach, thanks to the #LondonUnited campaign, and an experienced film maker who has worked with Copa90, Sunday Assembly and Manchester City.
Van Basten: Project Lead in London, Centre-Back
“The expert in anything once was a beginner.”
Van Basten (VB) coached in the USA for a year before moving to London to support grassroots clubs in Dulwich. He joined FBB in May 2016 as a volunteer on the Angel Town project and had a sensational rise to FBB Project Lead at his old school St Josephs’ in December 2016.
Timi Fernandez: Project Lead in London, Winger
“Football to many is an outlet and a route of escapism of hostile environments. I myself a south London youth have benefited immensely from the work, time and effort shown by FBB.
Timi has improved various skills over the past year including, coaching, mentoring and adaptability. His journey with FBB has been a sensational and rapid rise, as he initially found out about the charitable organisation through one of the football regimes at Kennington. Two years down the line, he was introduced to the FBB schools programme and in turn became a vital part of the delivery team from Monday to Friday.
Liam Baxter: Social Media Manager, Left Back
“FBB are a family and community which uses football to change the lives of young people. FBB has provided me with an outstanding opportunity to be a part of something special.”
Liam joined FBB in April 2015 volunteering on our Social Media channels and quickly became a part of the FBB Family. He is now a part-time member of staff using his expertise in Social Media to run our social channels as well as updating our website and curating our monthly newsletter. He also assists on our FBB Schools projects.
Tom Bateman: Education Advisor, Deep Lying Playmaker
“Every person has a story – learning to respect and embrace those stories is at the heart of developing community, the space in which I have learnt to do this is within a football setting. Too often in society the individual is championed, football brings people together and this can be a powerful force for positive change”
Tom is a founding member of FBB and was team coach for the first three FBB international tours. Tom spent two years working for the educational charity The Social Mobility Foundation while continuing to coach football to young people in South London. Tom is Head of Year 7, a history teacher and coach of the year 7 football team at the Archbishop Lanfranc School in Croydon.
Sandra Kearney: Head of Welfare, Fan
“FBB’s success lies in harnessing the irresistible force of football to engage otherwise disillusioned and marginalised children. Football can unite strangers and reduce all, however individually powerful or vulnerable, to the level of helpless fan or hopeful participant. FBB uses football as a vehicle for change and individual development.”
Sandra joined FBB in 2016 after attending several award nights and witnessing the transformational impact of FBB involvement for the young participants. After working for 20 years in the child protection sector as a professionally qualified solicitor and social worker, Sandra has gained masters level degrees in Social Work and Social Research. Sandra advises on safeguarding issues, staff development, strategy and the promotion of FBB as a placement of excellence for aspiring social work professionals. Contact her on: email@example.com