Football Beyond Borders (FBB) are proud to announce the educator and equality campaigner Troy Townsend as a new patron of the organisation. He joins football writer and journalist, Guillem Balague, at an important stage in the organisation’s growth.
Townsend, Education Manager at the equality and anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out, is one of the leading voices in the country championing the need for greater equality and diversity throughout the game.
“It is probably, one of the easiest questions I could be asked”, he said when asked about why he has agreed to take on this role. “I believe in everything FBB do to help, support and empower our young people, in a period of time in society that they are too easily judged. I have continued to value the impact of young people, so becoming a patron, is a very proud moment for me personally.”
Townsend, featured on Football’s Blacklist in 2014 and 2017 for his contribution to the British game, noted how his experience as a teacher makes him especially aware of the value of FBB’s work: “I understand the impact of positive role models on young vulnerable life’s. Young people who cry out for guidance, who seek platforms to show off their personalities, who may just want someone to believe in them.”
He added: “FBB’s work is all that and so much more. They are developing our next generation of young leaders, who can walk tall in today’s world in terms of advocating for and actively working towards a fairer and more inclusive society transcends football.”
FBB co-director Jasper Kain said: “It is an absolute honour to have Troy as our new patron. What he is doing for the game in this country is tremendous and for us to have someone of his experience and standing to support our work is truly fantastic. He is able to combine a rare blend of engagement and education of the next generation of footballers while also speaking truth to power. His support and insights will be invaluable in our efforts to continue to scale our programmes nationally.”
Speaking about his hopes for the FBB, Townsend expressed his wish for the organisation to “have more of an impact than they have already. It is easy to see their success but if we all believe in our young people, we should all do what we can to help. So if I can help FBB get more exposure, support more young people from different communities, provide more opportunities then I will do just that.”