During the October half-term Football Beyond Borders teamed up with Nike to offer an exciting opportunity for 15-19-year olds. Throughout the week youngsters from across London attended a series of “Utility Sessions”, creative workshops giving participants an insight into disciplines such as filmmaking, fashion styling and presenting.
Following the release of the new Nike Air Force 1 Utility, the task brief each day was related to the trainer and what it stands for; unity, community and identity. Each session involved a skills masterclass, guidance from industry experts on how to tackle a project brief, and the chance to meet some of London’s finest footballing talent.
Football Beyond Borders recognises that young people need a pathway from adolescence to adulthood, from school to the world of work. In order to support personal development and help with this transition, one-to-one careers advice was offered to everyone that attended the workshops.
My name is Joe Barnbrook, I am a 19-year-old Sport Journalism student from London, currently studying at the University of Brighton. FBB offered me the opportunity to attend the week-long creative academy, producing a daily article to reflect on the incredible experience.
DAY 1 – Journalism and Social Branding
The first session was held on Monday at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club. The session was focused on ‘Journalism and Social Branding’, led by Felicia Pennant and Sian Rowe from ‘Season’ – ‘an independent magazine that champions female fashion and football fans first’.
Upon arrival the participants were organised into groups and introduced to the brief. We were told that later in the day Chelsea footballer Ethan Ampadu would be visiting, and that we should prepare for an interview with the promising youngster about fashion and style, particularly focusing on the new Nike Air Force 1 Utility. Quotes taken from the interview would then be used to produce an article, with the best piece being chosen to feature in ‘Season’ magazine.
To help with the task, Felicia and Sian taught us how to successfully conduct an interview, with masterclasses in research, questioning and effective use of social media. Guardian journalist Iman Amrani was on hand to offer tips, whilst also running careers advice sessions for all.
After preparing and drafting questions throughout the day, we were finally ready to interview a Premier League footballer.
The experience was fantastic, and everyone had the opportunity to feel what it is like to work as a journalist for the day. Many young people left feeling inspired and said that they would definitely consider a career in the industry.
Afterwards, I spoke to Amun Quaynor, a 19-year-old participant on the day, about the experience. He said: “Today was brilliant. It gave me a great insight into what it means to be a journalist. I learnt lots of new skills and I found out about the hard work that goes into every single article.
“It was great to work with a professional footballer as well, it’s not every day you get to interview a Chelsea footballer, so thanks to Football Beyond Borders and Nike for the opportunity.”