Timi Fernandez has improved various skills over the past year including, coaching, mentoring and adaptability. His journey with FBB has been a sensational and rapid rise and he is now a vital part of our delivery team from Monday to Friday.
Describe your journey with FBB so far?
I would say that my journey with FBB has been a late but inspirational one. Here’s how it all happened:
My first encounter came when I attended one of FBB’s projects in Myatt’s Fields Park. At first glance I took it just as another football session – the impact of it all was delayed as I was in the middle of a controversial love affair with academia.
In 2015, I’d become an undergraduate at Royal Holloway, studying law. I felt I rushed the decision and eventually decided to leave the course and defer my place. As soon as I did that, I emailed Jasper Kain, one of FBB’s founders.
I reckon what I sent him must’ve been pretty persuasive because in January 2016 I started volunteering. This summer I was lucky enough to become a full-time member of staff.
How did football impact your life growing up?
Football was my outlet when I was a child and still is to this day. It’s always brought happiness to me in times of distress and a result I’ve grown hugely passionate about the sport. FBB has shown me how football can help and improve circumstances in the lives of young people across the world and, over time, be a great indicator of personal progress.
Pick three highlights from your time at FBB?
My first highlight would be our tour to Woodrow High House in July of this year with some of our primary school participants. My favourite part was seeing kids from all of our schools come together as one unit. It really helped to show the importance of unity and diversity in a society where this isn’t embraced enough.
It was also brilliant to see how adaptable the children were. For a lot of them it had been their first time away from home… and out of their comfort zone. Things like this showed us first hand how much of a difference FBB actually makes to the lives of young people.
My second highlight would be our August tour to Scotland with our U15s. One of FBB’s core values is ‘teamwork’ and this really showed itself on our trip – the rapport within the group was impeccable.
My final highlight would have to be FBB’s Away Day in Devon – unforgettable. The location and vibe was just a small part of what made it so great; the intellectual presentations and quality of food were others. However what I enjoyed the most, was the time I spent with my wonderful colleagues. I learnt to appreciate them as more than just work associates – but as people I admire and can openly call my friends.
What does your role entail at FBB, and what do you hope to achieve?
On paper I’m an Educational Assistant. In reality, it’s so much more. I’ve got a really flexible skill set, I think I excel when I’m coaching sessions and managing challenging behaviour.
The best thing about football is…?
One of the best things about football is that it’s complimentary to pragmatic scenarios and challenges, so it pairs perfectly with the needs of young people in education. Football is a great stimulant, which means it can help make challenges in the classroom easier to overcome.
How would you describe your coaching style?
Through coaching I want to make ideology of inability void within all my sessions. Or, more simply, I want everyone I coach to have full self-belief in their skills. I’m also big on making sure my dialogue with our participants is positive, informative and constructive. It’s important to remember that I’m working with vulnerable kids at times.
What does FBB mean to you?
At FBB we’re one big family. Everyone involved with FBB – participants, staff, teachers, volunteers – should feel privileged. I only see it progressing into something much bigger and better over time.
If I’d had an FBB programme at my school while I was a student I know for a fact it would’ve motivated me. Knowing that there’s an external organisation you can rely upon in times of trouble is such an important asset for kids to have.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
In 10 years I hope to be FBB’s top psychologist working internationally to help distressed kids in sport.
Find out more about all of our staff members HERE.