We believe that football is the most powerful tool in the world for inspiring young people to achieve their goals.
Jasper Kain: Co-Director, Head of Delivery, 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, Head of Operations, 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: Co-Director, 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.
Jack Badu: Head of Coaching, Box to Box Midfielder
“Coaching gives young people something to work towards – clear goals, discipline and structure. A lot of kids love playing football and it’s clear that it helps them to engage with learning. Our sessions help them to build their self-confidence and we also provide them with unique opportunities to travel to new places. Football Beyond Borders is fantastic. I wish I had something like this when I was younger.”
Jack joined us as a volunteer in 2014, but having thrown himself head first into the FBB Schools project and through hard work and dedication, he is now Head of Coaching for Football Beyond Borders. Jack is well qualified for the role: He was elected Bucks University Students’ Union Vice President Education & Welfare for two consecutive academic years, from 2012 to 2014. Prior to that, he studied BA Sport Management & Coaching Studies at Bucks New University. Now living back in London where he grew up, he has joined the Football Beyond Borders team. With 8 years experience coaching football from grassroots to youth academy level, he feels passionately about combining high quality football coaching and educational practice to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Joseph Watfa: Head of Policy and Youth Engagement, 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.
Jasper Schlump: Head of Partnerships, Defensive Midfielder
“Globally, there is nothing as uniting as well as dividing as football today. Football is the language that everyone understands and it has so much more power than most people think. Let’s try to catalyze football’s positive energy.”
Jasper joined FBB as a volunteer in October 2013 before becoming a full time member of staff in October 2014. He was first introduced to FBB by watching the 2011 FBB tour documentary “Over the Wall” with the SOAS first team to recruit the team for the annual tour to the Balkans. Jasper volunteered at the FBB Legacy project in Brazil and supported the team during the Favela World Cup.
With his professional background in corporate and community fundraising, Jasper joined FBB because he saw a real potential to thrive within a passion-driven and youthful organisation, whilst helping to achieve FBB’s ambitious goals.
Bruk Abdu: Head of Film Making, 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.
Tom Bateman: Head of Education, 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.
Karena McKay: Head of Female Participation, Striker
“I stumbled across FBB as a frustrated female footballer looking for a way to change the game for young girls, since then, I haven’t looked back”
Karena has years of coaching experience, having worked with the London FA, Kids city, St. Matthews project and running the LSBU university team, honing and developing her skills. Karena’s journey with FBB has been an exciting one. She officially joined the team in July 2015 as a voluntary coach for the women’s warriors team and has quickly grown an original idea, co-founding and leading the first of many FFEM sessions at the Archbishop Lanfranc Academy.
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.
Tim Jones: Project Lead in Cardiff, The Makelele Role
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.
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.
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