On Thursday 23rd October, the great and the good of the football world came together to meet our new patron, Guillem Balague and to talk about how football can be used as a tool to combat social exclusion.
Kindly hosted by Amnesty International in their auditorium, the evening was kicked off by FBB founder Jasper Kain who was showcasing films about our recent work with young people on a football tour to Scotland and the Favela World Cup in Brazil. “All Stars in Scotland” depicted the journey of young students and their dedicated teacher and FBB Trustee, Tom Bateman, from Archbishop Lanfranc School, on a trip to Scotland. Heartwarming and hilarious, the first film set the tone for the rest of the night. Next up was “Copa Dos Povos”, a film on the Favela World Cup in Brazil, a one day event that brought some of the joy and excitement of the World Cup to a community otherwise marginalised by the tournament.
After a short break, Guillem introduced his guests, Premier League and England footballer Joey Barton, football agent Sky Andrew, academic and journalist Carrie Dunn and writer David Goldblatt, on to the stage to talk about how football has been a positive tool in their lives. Discussing social exclusion from both a personal and societal perspective, it was an illuminating conversation that touched on everything from Barton’s family background to Carrie’s early love for the beautiful game. Sky Andrew shared with the audience how Sol Campbell encouraged him into his current career and David Goldblatt passionately reminded everyone of how football can be used to harness the power of the collective. The recurring message of the night, however, was to the young participants, who were encouraged by all the panelists, and especially Joey Barton, to be determined and steadfast in pursuit of their dreams.
Live-streamed all over the world via our Youtube channel, we were honoured to be joined by friends and FBB Family both in person and online, with the conversations continuing late into the night. We hope this will be the first of many opportunities to share our work and engage with our supporters. If you’d like to continue the convesation online, check out ticckle and post your 30 second answers to the question “How can football promote social inclusion?” – there are some great answers there from Joey Barton & others already! Lastly, if you’d like to see a Storify snapshot of social media engagement during the event, you can see one here.
If you are keen to become part of the FBB Family and support FBB and be in with a chance of winning a signed Messi shirt, please sign up here: bit.do/fbbdonate. You can also buy a special edition “Football For All” T-Shirt from out partners Urban Gent United, with all proceeds going to FBB.