We asked FBB Southampton University Society President Kelvyn to share with us what he has achieved in 2016 with FBB. Here’s what he had to say:
This year for FBB I set up the first ever Football Beyond Borders university society which comprised of 25 student members. The aim of this society was to utilise football as a means of promoting the values of inclusion and equality across both student communities and local youth communities. We have been volunteering at Newtown Community and Youth Centre working with 11 to 18 year-olds delivering mentoring and football coaching sessions. These sessions are based around footballing topics that contextualise key interpersonal skills such as empathy, respect and teamwork which is then reinforced in our football coaching sessions. We have also organised various fundraising events on the university campus and in the local community which have been very successful. Setting this society up whilst balancing education and other societal commitments hasn’t been easy, but I believe it has offered students the opportunity to use their interests in football to engage in the local community in a way that allows them to connect with disengaged youths through a universal language.
I was also lucky enough to be the face of the Gillette Great Starts campaign which involved me partaking in an advert with Gillette and Sky Sports, as well as travelling to Barcelona to see Neymar. These were two amazing experiences which meant a lot to me because it represented an opportunity for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get involved in a sports industry where they are heavily under-represented.
The work you and the society do to support FBB and the wider Southampton community is outstanding and we hope 2016 is the start of things to come but what motivates you to continue to help our work?
FBB is a charity that understands that when education is tailored to the interests of the individual, anybody regardless of age, background, and capability, can achieve. It becomes increasingly easy for young people to feel marginalised and forgotten by an educational system, it is so important that charities like FBB exist to reinstate confidence in a young person’s ability to achieve. In this sense the charity has given me the opportunity to use my passion for football to inspire others and help them to achieve, which has been a very humbling experience. It has taught me that I can achieve just as much as anybody else regardless of my age and experience because talent and passion speak through shared interests and goals.
Once again a massive thank you to the FBB Southampton Society for their fantastic support. If setting up a Football Beyond Borders university society sounds of interest – please email firstname.lastname@example.org! We’ll provide you with all the tools and knowledge needed to get it set up and the good work started!