In these series of articles, we cover the inspirational summer school sessions our young people have been participating in. In the third session, our young people visited the headquarters of Copa 90, a fan-centric football platform.
From the monitors that track the performance of footballers to goal line technology, digital innovations have transformed the nature of sport. And it is not just on field activities that have undergone a seismic evolution. Today, the way football in particular are covered have been revolutionised by digital platforms like YouTube and Twitter. One platform that is at the forefront of this revolution is the fan-centric network Copa90. In the third summer school session, our young students had the opportunity to visit Copa90 to meet some of those at the forefront of this change shaping the future of football media.
One is unlikely to meet a fan as passionate about the global game as Martino who is a presenter and creative producer at Copa90. During the 2018 World Cup Martino travelled across Russia, visiting each of the 11 host cities. He managed to do so for free, relying on the kindness and comradery of strangers and football fans he met on his journey. Speaking to our young people, it was this experience and the broader meaning of it that he conveyed to them.
He explained the power of language as a bridge to learn more about other people and cultures. Ultimately how, through language, we can learn more about the world around us and the hospitality that people are willing to show towards each other. All it takes, he told our young people, is stepping outside of your comfort zone. A truth our young people are more than aware of, in particular after having completed the successful City of Nations project that explored the power of football as a medium for intercultural unity and togetherness in London. During that project our young people worked on a multi-disciplinary project that exposed them to experiences and tasks that were at times outside of their comfort zone.
At the end of it, however, as many of them reflected later they became more aware of the value of multiculturalism and themselves as young Londoners. Similarly, when we asked him about his highlight of working at Copa90, Martino was quick to point to his experience of being in Russia, the generosity of people and the bond he developed with the people he came across as he made his way all the way to the final.
Another well-known face of Copa90 our young students met is Timbsy, a content creator at the platform. For many of our young people, Timbsy is a familiar face as one of the main presenters on the channel. A passionate football fan and player, he noted getting to work in a job that he loves is driven in large part by his willingness to try different things in life. He advised our young people not to be afraid to say yes to the different opportunities and to overcome being driven by fear. This mindset has lead him to interview his footballing idol Lionel Messi for Copa90, which represents a career highlight.
For our young people there was also a special conversation with Kelvyn Quagraine. Kelvyn in his younger days was much like our current participants. He used to attend our community programme in South London and went on to set up the Football Beyond Borders student society at the University of Southampton before joining Copa90 as Community Manager at Copa90. For him the key ingredient for success in this world is having a strong mindset coupled with a passion for doing what you want to do in life. These, he said, are the two wings that will help you fly high. And as Kelvyn’s story evidences, at FBB we aim to empower our young people with the tools, including developing a growth mindset, so that we can succeed at following our passions and pursuing the life we desire.
There was also some words of wisdom shared by a very special member of the Copa90 and FBB family, Pez. Having co-founded and worked at FBB, Pez is now a content creator at the platform. He reminded the young people present that the media world is always changing as people we have to be adaptable and eager to learn.
The session at Copa90 was another successful learning experience that gave our young people a window into the world of football. Many young people grow up wanting to become footballers, but the unfortunate truth is that not all will make it down that path. Through experiences like this, we are able to give our young people the chance to view the plethora of careers and journeys in football that they can pursue outside of just playing the game.
We would like to extend a warm thank you to Copa90 for welcoming our young people.