Joe Watfa has been involved with FBB since the very beginning and has been working a full time position with us since the beginning of 2016. Let’s get to know the FBB veteran:
Pick three highlights from your time at FBB?
1) Going on the first ever tour to the Middle East in 2009 when FBB was still just a student society is a major highlight, as it was one of the first times I had been taken out of my comfort zone. It really showed me that football was a truly global language, which could be used to bring people together and enact positive social change – the memories of this tour – planning it and being a part of it – formed a great part of my development at university and life in general.
2) Organising and being project lead for the 2011 tour to Egypt, Jordan and Palestine was a fantastic experience from which I learnt so much and grew as an individual. It was also one of the most eye opening and humbling experiences I’ve ever faced – the hospitality, passion for life and remarkable stories of resistance are things that will stay with me forever.
3) Delivering my first FBB Schools session – once I witnessed the levels of engagement and passion that young people displayed for a football related curriculum, I realised the truly great impact we could have with young people.
What motivated you to switch to a full time role with FBB?
FBB has always remained a key part of my life, ever since the 2009 tour. Joining a growing organisation, particularly one that shares a similar outlook on life to me was a no-brainer given my own engagement with FBB over the years. Additionally, while in my previous role at JUSTICE, I realised that I had to follow my passions if I was to have a meaningful impact and make improvements in areas of society that I was passionate about changing.
I had a great desire to not only engage with young people’s education, working with them on their own terms, but also to advocate for the issues they were passionate about. So the chance to join FBB, where I was given a remit to build our policy engagement while regularly working with young people and developing the FBB Schools Curriculum was something I seized immediately.
What does your role entail at FBB, and what do you hope to achieve?
My official title is Head of Policy and Youth Engagement
This entails researching and commenting on policy related to aspects of our work, developing our engagement with key influencers in education and social policy and developing & delivering the FBB Curriculum in schools.
What’s your vision for the FBB Academy summer tours?
My vision for FBB Elite Tours is to become the number one organisation in the UK for elite football tours here and abroad and in delivering football-related English Summer courses/tours. I hope to utilize the wealth of experience and connections we have in developing and delivering tours that not only boast top quality facilities and technical coaching, but ones that are renowned for their holistic development of young people in areas such as confidence, inter-personal skills, problem solving etc. I want to create the full package of football development tours to cater for all needs.
You were previously working at human rights organisation JUSTICE. How will you draw on your experiences there while at FBB?
From my time at JUSTICE, I gained invaluable experience in the general development of a small/medium-sized charity in areas such as operations, fundraising and business development. For such a small organisation, JUSTICE has had an incredible impact on the UK Justice system and this is a testament to the strength of the organisation as a whole, especially its policy arm. I hope to use the skills in advocacy, in preparing high quality briefings and in engaging key influencers in parliament that I learnt while at JUSTICE.
The best thing about football is:
It’s simplicity – you only need a ball and a few friends to play it and the fact that it is totally premised on the collective.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I am focused on instilling players with confidence in their own ability to develop and to be creative. I like to use technical coaching sessions to develop soft-skills such as resilience, awareness and focus which are necessary to succeed as a footballer and transferable to their everyday lives.
How did football impact your life growing up?
Football has been a staple in my life for as long as I can remember. Many of my friends I met through football and it has offered me numerous opportunities to travel, meet new people and to generally engage in social issues. As well as this, football taught me the importance of discipline, humility, drive, hard work and that no man is an island.
What’s one thing you cannot resist?
What does FBB mean to you?
It means using your passion to engage with people and to work towards positive change.
Find out more about all of our staff members HERE.