This week, FBB Head of Comms Tom Perez is embarking on a journey “beyond borders”, taking FBB to New York for the Beyond Sport Awards Ceremony, where we’ve been nominated under the “Innovation & Tech” category for our FBB Youth Voices Programme. He has written us an article, just before his flight to New York, to tell us more about it:
Firstly, I have to say what a huge honour this is! When we first heard about the nomination, I thought we’d have to watch from a distance as the cost of flights and accommodation would be beyond our budget. Thankfully those costs have been covered by the wonderful people at Beyond Sport. I am hugely grateful that I will be representing FBB on such a prestigious platform.
Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes sustainable social change through sport, instilling insight, energy and impact in communities around the world. Last year our FBB Schools programme was nominated for an award and we narrowly missed out on winning. This year we’ll be up against the likes of the NBA who do amazing work in conjunction with community organisations in the USA, so again the competition is tough! Whether we win or not, it’s fantastic recognition for Football Beyond Borders to be nominated yet again, and we are hugely proud of everything we have achieved with the FBB Youth Voices programme this year.
The FBB Youth Voices programme has been one of my favourite programmes to be involved in during my time at FBB as it has seen us take 7 young participants from across our FBB Schools programme and train them in all aspects of film production, equipping them with the digital skills necessary to tell their own stories in a powerful, visual way. With our support and with the collaboration of our partners at Copa90, the biggest online YouTube football channel, they created, presented, produced and edited their own YouTube magazine show called “Beyond Ballers”, which you can watch on our YouTube channel FBB TV here. This is just the beginning.
As a young person, being able to film, produce and edit your own videos means that you can leverage the power of digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to reach a variety of audiences both locally and globally. Furthermore, these skills are crucial in a rapidly-changing job market which is becoming increasingly dependant on digital know-how. Ten years ago, the idea of people having jobs such as “Social Media Content Creator” would have been hard to fathom, but nowadays these jobs are becoming ever more prevalent. With the right professional training and guidance, digitally-savvy young people can take advantage of these opportunities.
A great example of this is Lorenzo (pictured above in the bottom right). One of the stars on our Youth Voices programme, he has just finished a two-week work experience placement with Ball Street, a popular UK YouTube channel and digital platform. Not only has he been running their social media channels and creating videos for their YouTube channel that have already been viewed thousands of times, but Ball Street are already talking to him about potentially working for them in future. 6 months ago Lorenzo had only just begun learning to edit. This is the amazing journey that young people can take with the right kind of support and with an education that allows them to take advantage of technological innovations. As Lorenzo himself explains: “FBB Youth Voices has given me the platform to show everyone my talent!”.
From September onwards, thanks to funding from Comic relief in partnership with BT Sport, we will be extending the FBB Youth Voices programme and integrating it into our FBB Schools model. One of our key strategic objectives as a charity is to ensure that by 2020, 90% of our communications as a charity are youth-led. We believe that the Youth Voices programme will make this possible. Young people deserve to tell their own stories and to have their voices heard. Thank you to Beyond Sport and to all our supporters at FBB for recognising this and helping us make it possible!