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 3 – Young Athletes
Day 3 of the Nike x Football Beyond Borders creative academy took place at Labs House in Holborn. Thanks to a series of masterclasses and workshops throughout the day, the young participants were given a unique insight into Creative Direction and Production by the FBB team and other creative experts from within the industry.
Youngsters travelled from across London to attend the event and you could sense the excitement from the moment everyone arrived. Before the Utility Session began, the young people were offered an opportunity to explore the Nike clothes and trainers scattered around the studio.
Many were immediately attracted to the new Nike Air Force One Utility, a highly anticipated shoe that each project brief during the week was focused around.
Everyone was organised into groups with others that they had never met before. It was encouraging to see new friendships being made from the outset with each individual introducing themselves to one another and learning about their backgrounds.
Wednesday’s brief was an ambitious one. Each group had to create a fashion-related, 60 second Instagram story based on a topic that resonates with young people. The promotional video had to include the new Air Force 1’s in some way and fit in with both Nike and the AF1 brand whilst stressing the importance of community.
To create the video, each member of the group was able to choose a role for the day. The positions included fashion stylist, presenter, creative director, producer and shooter, with everyone taking part in a session relevant to their job. The aspiring presenters received a masterclass from AFTV presenter Pippa Monique, whilst FBB Practitioner and freelance model Timi Fernandez introduced the group to fashion styling.
The afternoon featured all the creative ideas being put into action and the final Instagram story for each group was of a very high-quality. At the end of the day, all the groups had a chance to pitch and present their promotional videos to all the young people, industry experts and FBB team members that had attended the event.
Everybody received a Utility Session certificate and Nike gift bag for taking part, and left feeling both inspired and proud of the content they had created. After the session, I spoke to Melody Haywood, a 14-year-old from Elm Green School, and 16-year-old Macdonald Madariola from Harris Academy Peckham to see how they found the experience.
Melody said: “I found the ‘Fashion Styling’ session really creative. We were able to put our own ideas into action and meet lots of new people too. I’ve learnt how to be a leader as well as knowing when to let others share their thoughts. I’m really grateful for the opportunity today.“
Macdonald also reflected very positively on the experience. He said: “The session was very interesting. I would definitely recommend the workshops to my friends. I learnt more about how to be a director and manage a team, making sure everyone’s ideas were incorporated into the video. Thank you to Nike and FBB for a great experience.”