FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game

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FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game

If you are interested in purchasing the Zine produced on the night, you can do so here: https://footballbeyondborders.charitycheckout.co.uk/TheWomenWhoChangedTheGame#!/

On Wednesday the 5th of June, two days before the start of the World Cup in France, a group of inspirational young women from Archbishop Lanfranc, Elm Green and Harris Peckham schools came together to host a very special event celebrating the Women Who Changed the Game. These young women put together an event that highlighted the amazing achievements of women throughout history, as well as raising the profile of Gamechangers in London. 

FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game 349

With tickets selling out for the event, over 150 attendees were treated to a spectacular youth-led evening that included an interactive exhibition, stunning photography, films about the project, a showcase, the launch of a zine, and a fascinating panel discussion. It was the culmination of a six-week project that had seen the girls work closely together, developing strong bonds and showing fantastic teamwork to achieve their goal of writing women into history.

As attendees entered through the gates of the NIKE 1948 space in Shoreditch, they were welcomed by the dazzling energy of a perfectly choreographed troupe of FBB girls dancing to their favourite songs.  The first part of the night involved an interactive exhibition with various different youth-led stations where our participants explained the project and engaged attendees in thought-provoking conversations that uncovered the stories of women across the world and in London today.  

Once all attendees had arrived and experienced the exhibition, they were ushered into a second room for the showcase. With everybody squeezed in and eagerly anticipating the show to begin, there was a real buzz in the air and standing room only. The showcase was hosted by 15 year old Tiana, whose confidence shone through as she spoke to the packed crowd.

FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game 350After thanking everyone for turning up, she posed an important question that set the tone for the rest of the showcase: “You definitely know about Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Lionel Messi. But what about Evelyn Scott, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Vick Hope? Well these are just some of the revolutionary women you’ll learn about today, and there’s a whole magazine we’ve made telling their stories. Welcome to The Women Who Changed the Game.”

Tiana then introduced FBB’s Head of Female Participation Ceylon Hickman, who explained why this project was so important: “If girls see women too far away, at the top of their game, and they have no connection to them, it actually has a negative effect on their self esteem. Instead, you need to build relationships between girls and women that are relatable and accessible to them. That’s why this project was about making those connections and allowing relationships to flourish, between the Gamechangers of London and our participants.”

FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game 351

Next up, Tiana introduced us to her fellow participant Shahad, who was joined on stage by her London Gamechanger, Alex Greenwood, a 24 year old drummer based in London. Shahad explained how much she had learned from meeting Alex: “Being the only woman in a band, and a Man United fan, I could relate to her because I used to be the only girl playing football with the boys. I stopped because I felt uncomfortable. It’s great that Alex is so confident and comfortable in a male-dominated space and shows me that women can do whatever they want to do.” 

Shahad and Alex were follow on stage by two of the young FBB Gamechangers, who shared their vision for how they were going to change the game. Kenza’s speech was powerful and she talked of the need to dispel negative myths about young women from South London. She explained: “I’m going to become a lawyer and help communities like mine, by doing pro bono cases and helping those treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. I want to change the game by challenging the stereotypes about South London girls, and hopefully inspire the next generation of girls to do to the same.”

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Mia spoke about wanting to become a therapist: “My main aim in the future is to help people, I myself have faced my own challenges in life and have received help from various people and want to repay this to others. I know how tough life can get but I know that with the right support anyone can flourish, I would love to one day be the Gamechanger in other people’s lives.”

The audience was then treated to a panel hosted by former participant Debra, who is now an FBB staff member and is a well-loved role model for the current FBB participants. She invited two of the younger Gamechangers on stage alongside Hafsah Dabiri, one of the London Gamechangers for Nigeria, who at just 20 has already become a published author.

After some emotional “Thank you’s” from the young Gamechangers to their role models Ceylon and Debra, it was time to wrap up the evening, but not before another spontaneous dance session initiated by the participants, which even some of the audience got involved in! By the end of the night, it was clear that these young women had truly lived up to the name of the event and changed the game for everyone there.

On their way out, the attendees were full of praise for these amazing young women. Rore, from South London, said: “Well done to them for such a fantastic event. These girls have shown confidence, tenacity and humour in being able to really communicate their vision. So keep up the hard work, you guys are superstars. Keep going at it, regardless of what you end up doing, whether that is something in football or something outside. What you have learnt from FBB and learnt from today, you will carry that through with you regardless of what you end up doing.”

FBB’s young Gamechangers host unique evening to celebrate The Women Who Changed the Game 353Meanwhile JJ, a longtime member of the FBB family, said: “I remember when the FBB staff were front and centre of every showcase. Now, 12 to 13 year olds are doing this, they are running the whole show! I am so impressed,they made everyone laugh and inspired us all. What can I say, big up FBB. It is good to see the partnerships between young people and adults working together. Girls, you are smashing it. Do not stop. Keep going, ask for support, because all of these people around you are helping you do what you want to do.”

A huge thanks to everyone who attended and help these young women celebrate their fantastic project. A huge thanks also to NIKE for hosting and supporting the event, it wouldn’t have been possible without them and the amazing staff at the 1948 Venue.

The exhibition wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible teamwork on show from all our suppliers. FBB would like to extend a huge thank you to Genix, TOAD Design Group, Service Print and Service Graphics for helping us to create such a powerful evening.

If you are interested in purchasing the Zine produced on the night, you can do so here: https://footballbeyondborders.charitycheckout.co.uk/TheWomenWhoChangedTheGame#!/