Our Team

Our Team

Made up of game-changers who care passionately about the next generation.

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WE ARE A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM, BUILT FROM EXPERTLY TRAINED PRACTITIONERS DRAWN FROM THE COMMUNITIES WE WORK IN. EACH FBB SCHOOLS PROGRAMME IS DELIVERED BY A THREE PERSON TEAM, COMPRISING OF AN EXPERIENCED TEACHER, A YOUTH THERAPIST, AND A QUALIFIED FA FOOTBALL COACH.

Lead Practitioner (North-West)

ANTAR ADAMS

ANTAR IS A QUALIFIED TEACHING ASSISTANT AND FA LEVEL 2 COACH. HE ALSO HAS A DEGREE FROM UCFB (UNIVERSITY CAMPUS OF FOOTBALL BUSINESS) AND RUNS THE FBB UNDER 14 FOOTBALL TEAM IN SOUTH LONDON AT THE WEEKENDS. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE IS A FOOTBALL AND LIFE COACH TO YOUNG BOYS ACROSS SOUTH LONDON WHO HAVE MADE THE FIRST STEPS INTO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL.

“I joined FBB because after working in a school for 3 years, I felt it was time for me to find a new opportunity to grow and gain new skills. FBB provided a great opportunity to combine my love of football and working with young people, and I knew that I would be able to serve a wider population. As a qualified teacher, and someone who has worked within the football industry, I have established various useful relationships within the football and education industries. Our work is so important because it is shaping a future generation and provides the opportunity to add value to the lives of the young people we work with.”

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Project Lead (London)

ARAMIDE OKEKUNLE

ARAMIDE JOIND FBB AFTER HER LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO ST MATTHEWS PROJECT IN NOVEMBER. DURING HER TIME WITH ST MATTHEW’S, SHE WORKED AS A U17 GIRLS FOOTBALL COACH, COMMUNITY SESSIONAL COACH AS WELL AS COMMUNITY YOUTH SUPPORT WORKER. ARAMIDE DISCOVERED FBB DURING HER MASTER’S DEGREE VENTURE. AFTER GRADUATING A GREAT OPPORTUNITY CAME FOR HER TO BE A PART OF THE FBB  TEAM, DRIVEN BY HER COMMITMENT TO INVEST IN HER COMMUNITY. AN OFFER THAT SHE COULD NOT REFUSE. SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE SHARED COMMON GOALS AND PURPOSES THAT ALIGNED WITH HER LONG TERM PLANS TO INVEST IN PLATFORMING YOUNG PEOPLE’S SENSE OF SELF IN ORDER FOR THEM TO UNLOCK THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL.

“I am proud to be a part of a team which appreciates the process of caring for young people beyond the surface level. By promoting the need for them to be ‘outward, forward, creative and critical in their response to their experiences and the world around them.’ This to me is the act of doing things virtuously, due to the effect they have on the heart of young people who need investing in.”

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Head of Interventions

Bruk Abdu

BRUK STARTED HIS FBB JOURNEY AS A VOLUNTEER IN 2014. HE IS QUALIFIED AS A LEVEL 2 BACP COUNSELLOR AND IS TRAINING TO BECOME A THERAPIST. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE LOVES TO INDULGE IN EXPERIMENTAL COOKING. HE HASN’T YET FOUND THE PERFECT DISH, BUT HE’S WORKING ON IT!

“I joined FBB because it combined my passion for football with my interest in development. I grew up in South London and felt that FBB was a unique and innovative organisation that enabled me to contribute towards my community.. The work we do is vital. In the last decade we’ve witnessed increased university fees, a staggering increase in young people facing mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, and a lack of provision for young people across the boroughs of London. It’s important that we empower our young people and show them that society does care for their dreams, aspirations and development.”

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Head of Impact & Female Participation

Ceylon Andi Hickman

CEYLON PREVIOUSLY WORKED AT THE FA, MANAGING THEIR WOMEN’S FOOTBALL APPRENTICE NATIONAL PROGRAMME. SHE WAS ALSO ACCESS & WIDENING PARTICIPATION OFFICER DURING HER TIME AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY. IN HER FREE TIME, SHE PLAYS FOOTBALL FOR DULWICH HAMLET WOMEN’S FC.

“FBB provides the perfect platform for me to combine my passions of education, football and working with young people. Coming from a family of educators, I was destined to end up in the education sector, but knew I didn’t want to work in a mainstream school. One of the best things about working for FBB is being surrounded by individuals who are hungry to learn everyday: from my colleagues and our dedicated network of volunteers, to the incredible young people on our programmes, everyone in the FBB Family positions continuous learning and education as integral to their identity.”

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Data Assistant and Trainee Project Lead (London)

CHIDI EMERUWA

“FBB has allowed me to bridge the gap between my love for football and my passion for supporting young people. I have worked with young people across the U.K. and in America and it has only reinforced in me the idea that everybody is unique with their own story to tell. Having grown up in South London I understand the potential difficulties in navigating not only the streets but also educational environments. I hope to make that journey easier for young people. I believe for every lesson I share with the youth we work with, I learn something just as valuable from them.”

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Project Lead (London)

Ciara Monahon

CIARA JOINED FBB IN SEPTEMBER 2019. BEFORE JOINING, CIARA WAS A FOOTBALL COACH FOR VARIOUS NORTH LONDON CLUBS. WHEN SHE ISN’T COACHING, SHE IS PLAYING, AND IS CURRENTLY CLUB CAPTAIN AT CLAPTON COMMUNITY FOOTBALL CLUB.

“I joined FBB because I believe that your life should be purposeful and FBB is a charity that does incredible and important work to bring opportunity and support to young people to reach their potential. I am really proud to be apart of the FBB family, its work that challanges and inspires and has meaningful and long lasting impact on the lives of young people.” 

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Project Lead (London)

Colin Okirie

COLIN JOINED IN AUGUST 2020, HE HOLDS A MASTERS DEGREE IN SPORT AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EARNED A FOOTBALL SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY HIS UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN CALIFORNIA, USA. COLIN PLAYED FOOTBALL IN THE GERMAN OBERLIGA IN 2017, BEFORE JOINING SPORT4LIFEUK AS THEIR SPORTS LEADER TRAINER. IN HIS SPARE TIME COLIN LOVES TO LISTEN TO MUSIC, READ AND PLAY FOOTBALL. 

“For me, it is all about positive relationships. We set foundations for young people to build positive relationships for themselves moving forward. We have the responsibility of creating spaces in which a young person can build lasting relationships with education, people, and themselves. Everyone at FBB goes to work with the sole purpose of supporting youth and I am grateful to be a part of it”

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Impact Manager (London)

Gabrielle Hamill

GABRIELLE JOINED OUR IMPACT TEAM IN SEPTEMBER 2019. SHE IS BELGIAN AND ENGLISH AND DID HER DEGREE IN POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BATH. GABRIELLE HAS PREVIOUSLY WORKED FOR A LEADING IMPACT ORGANISATION AND FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANCY IN BRUSSELS. IN HER FREE TIME SHE VOLUNTEERS WITH A LITERACY CHARITY AND HAS SUPPORTED AN INITIATIVE WORKING WITH REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS.

“I am proud to be part of an organisation that reframes the narrative and puts young people at the heart of everything they do. We need organisations like FBB that challenge the current system and support young people to succeed in life. I’m excited to be part of FBB’s impact journey, and for everything I have to learn from the inspiring individuals that are part of this family.”

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Co-Director

Jack Reynolds

JACK TRAINED ON THE CIVIL SERVICE FAST STREAM. HE HAS A FIRST-CLASS DEGREE FROM SOAS AND A MASTERS FROM OXFORD. HE IS CURRENTLY COMPLETING HIS THERAPEUTIC WELLBEING PRACTITIONER QUALIFICATION AT THE INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND THERAPY IN EDUCATION. IN HIS FREE TIME, HE ENJOYS PLAYING FOOTBALL, READING, DANCING, BEING WITH HIS WIFE KIRSTY, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY.

“I started FBB with a group of friends from a belief that there is nothing more important to young people than the creation of positive and trusting relationships. And there is nothing more powerful than the shared passion of football for creating meaningful connections upon which relationships thrive. Working across more than 50 schools with thousands of young people has only reinforced this initial belief. In a world of increasing isolation, distrust and loneliness, the work that our team does is more important than ever.”

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Grants and Community Manager (London)

JAMES REEVES

JAMES TRAINED ON THE CASE EUROPE TRAINEE PROGRAMME, A FUNDRAISING GRADUATE SCHEME FOR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS. HE IS AN FA LEVEL 2 COACH CURRENTLY ON SABBATICAL UNTIL ROY HODGSON’S RETIREMENT. IN HIS SPARE TIME, JAMES LIKES TO WRITE POEMS, GO FOR WALKS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE AND PLAY FOOTBALL.

“I joined FBB in March 2019 from the Natural History Museum, after applying for a role in the previous year unsuccessfully. Despite that setback, I was determined to work at FBB because it is an organisation that makes a real, tangible difference to society. The organisation speaks to me on many different levels. It allows me to combine my love for football and fundraising and is an organisation that values human relationships above all else. Anyone who buys into our mission and ethos will understand that. We are a family first, and that’s why people want to work with us.”

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Co-Director

Jasper Kain

JASPER RECEIVED A FIRST CLASS HONOURS FROM SOAS UNIVERSITY. UPON GRADUATION HE CO-FOUNDED A DOCUMENTARY FILM COMPANY ALONGSIDE WORKING AS A COMMUNITY ORGANISER IN LONDON. HE FOUNDED FBB AS A CHARITY, OFF THE BACK OF RUNNING A SERIES OF YOUTH FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES IN SOUTH LONDON IN HIS SPARE TIME. HIS PASSION FOR COACHING AND YOUNG PEOPLE REMAINS BUT AS FBB HAS GROWN HIS ROLE HAS SHIFTED, FOCUSING ON FUNDRAISING AND THE EXTERNAL PROFILE OF THE ORGANISATION.

“Every young person wants to feel valued within a safe environment and FBB acts as a vehicle to achieve this through validating their self-worth. Given this support, young people can thrive and that is why I am as driven and passionate as ever to growing FBB to change national policy and support the lives of thousands of young people nationwide. We know that through creating meaningful and supportive relationships built on the principle of reciprocity; truly hearing and being heard; really seeing and being seen by other people, that young people fulfil their immense potential.”

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Head of Partnerships

Joe Watfa

JOE IS AN EXPERIENCED YOUTH WORKER, EDUCATOR, COACH AND RESEARCHER. JOE HAS A DEGREE FROM SOAS AND A MASTERS FROM LUND UNIVERSITY IN SWEDEN. IN HIS SPARE TIME HE ENJOYS BEING WITH FAMILY, AND GOING TO MUSIC EVENTS WITH HIS FRIENDS.

“My journey with FBB has been a long one, aged 18, I sat in a football changing room listening attentively about how we, a group of young footballers, could tap into the power of football to bring about positive change. The last 10 years have been a rollercoaster but a regular reminder about the transformative potential of football. The education system is not working for many young people and we have really lived out the mantra ‘be the change you want to see,’ focusing our methodology on creating the conditions necessary for young people to thrive. An approach focused on the strength of relationships and non-judgemental understanding, authentic and meaningful project work, positive role models and the development of 21st century skills. Our approach is unique, young-person centred and unapologetic, we believe in the unlimited potential of our young people and strive to help them become the best versions of themselves.”

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Project Lead (London)

KAINE SENKUMBA

KAINE IS A QUALIFIED COACH AND SPECIALISES IN WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR. IN HIS SPARE TIME HE ENJOYS CHILLING WITH HIS DAUGHTER AND FAMILY, PLAYING GAMES WITH HIS LITTLE BROTHER, EATING, AND READING TO FURTHER HIS KNOWLEDGE.

“I joined FBB because I saw a group of people that really want to make a difference. All I have ever wanted to do is to make a difference and give back to the youth of today. FBB gave me the platform and the best team I could have imagined to help me achieve this vision. Our job is so important because we give young people a voice. I am so proud of us as coaches and educators, we really go beyond for the young people. There are not many organisations like us out there that give young people the time and understanding that they need and deserve.”

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Comms Manager & Content Creation Lead

Kelvyn Quagraine

KELVYN JOINED FBB FROM COPA 90 IN APRIL. DURING HIS TIME WITH COPA 90 HE WORKED AS A COMMUNITY MANAGER, AS WELL AS PRESENTING ON THEIR PLATFORM. WHILST AT UNIVERSITY, KELVYN SET UP AN AWARD-WINNING FBB STUDENT SOCIETY WHICH HELPED TO GROW FBB’S REACH AND IMPACT.  IN HIS SPARE TIME HE LIKES TO COVER FOOTBALL GAMES FOR DULWICH HAMLET FC AND PLAY FOOTBALL. 

“My first involvement with FBB started back in 2016 when I was supporting a youth organisation offering mentoring for young people wanting to progress to higher education. My relationship with FBB continued throughout University, and after graduating I volunteered for FBB before working at CentrePoint Sport and COPA90. During my time at COPA 90, I helped build a group of 6,000 creators around the world helping us to deliver the most captivating and informed stories within football from across the globe. Using my previous experiences, I aim to help build a social media strategy that champions the individual identities, voices, and brilliance of the young people we work with. Our content shines a light on football and education through an FBB youth lens and allows audiences to understand that the voices of tomorrow are ready to be heard today.“

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Part-Time Project Lead (London)

Lorenzo Saidi

LORENZO IS A GRADUATE OF THE FIRST FBB YOUTH MEDIA PROGRAMME. HE WORKED IN THE COMMS TEAM FOR A YEAR LEADING ON FBB’s 2018 VISUAL REBRAND AND IS NOW A THERAPEUTIC APPRENTICE IN THE DELIVERY TEAM. IN HIS FREE TIME, HE LIKES TO VOLUNTEER AT HIS LOCAL YOUTH CLUB. HE ALSO LIKES TO MAKE CREATIVE PROJECTS THAT BRING GRAPHIC DESIGN AND FILMMAKING TOGETHER TO TELL POWERFUL STORIES. 

“My FBB Journey started when I was 16. My work experience placement at FBB was the first time in my life where I found myself in an environment that I could truly express myself. After learning so much on the FBB Youth Voices programme, I began doing comms on a part-time basis for FBB in December 2017, and from the summer of 2018 I’ve been a full-time member of staff leading on our digital output and productions. Through working at my old school Lilian Baylis and leading on the third Youth Voices programme, I have realised that when young people are given the freedom to learn in their own capacity and a platform to display their talents, they can truly shine. This is what FBB has provided me for the past 3 years of my life, and now I’m eager to do the same for the next generation.”

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Part-Time Project Lead (North-West)

MICHAEL WELCH

MICHAEL IS A PROJECT LEAD/ASSIST IN THE NORTH WEST. HE JOINED THE FBB NORTH WEST TEAM NEAR ITS BEGINNING, EARLY 2019 AND HAS BEEN PART OF ITS DEVELOPMENT SINCE. HIS LOVE FOR MUSIC HAS TAKEN HIM TOURING AROUND THE WORLD, ON MANY BIG STAGES, SUCH AS GLASTONBURY AND A EUROPEAN TOUR WITH JUSTIN BIEBER. HE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT FOOTBALL AND A DIE HARD LIVERPOOL FAN, HE EVEN WORKED AT ANFIELD WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER. MICHAEL IS A PROUD SCOUSER, WHO IS FAMILY ORIENTATED AND LOVES TO DO HIS BEST FOR THE TEAM.

“Being part of the FBB Team has shown me how every little effort makes such a big difference in young people’s lives. Everyone in the family really does go beyond for others, and this is what drives me to do the same. My passion to support young people has grown tenfold whilst being at FBB, i have learnt so much as a person and i’m proud to be part of a team that have had such a massive impact on others lives.”

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Project Lead (Northwest)

Nuh Hakim-Okomi

NUH GRADUATED FROM UCFB (UNIVERSITY CAMPUS OF FOOTBALL BUSINESS) AND IS A LEVEL 2 FOOTBALL COACH WITH EXTENSIVE COMMUNITY COACHING EXPERIENCE IN LIVERPOOL.

“FBB creates an environment, which feels like home not only for me but for the young people we work with. Coming from a diverse community and household, FBB stood out to me and seemed like the place I have been looking for over the years since graduating. The youth work we do at FBB pushes young people to be the BEST version of themselves. This is something I have never seen before, especially within education. Graduating from UCFB and coaching from a young age within my community in Toxteth in Liverpool, it has given me not only the skills to work with young people, but most of all the character traits to relate to them, understand them and really get on with them.” 

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Project Lead (London)

PEDRO CORREIA

AFTER COMPLETING AN MA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON PEDRO SPENT A PERIOD OF TIME WORKING IN INCLUSION UNITS, YOUTH CENTRES AND SCHOOLS AS A COMMUNITY MUSIC THERAPIST BEFORE WORKING AS A SENIOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT WORKER FOR THE NHS. PEDRO IS PASSIONATE ABOUT CHAMPIONING YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH THE USE OF CREATIVE AND CURATIVE PLATFORMS. 


“It’s a pleasure to be part of an organisation that puts young people first. FBB understands how to use young people’s interests as a tool to provide educational and developmental transferable skills that allows our participants to be their best selves.” 

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Trainee Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioner (London)

REMARIO BARROW-ROPER

REMARIO JOINED FBB IN SEPTEMBER 2019. HE HAS A LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA IN SPORTS SCIENCE AND IS CURRENTLY DOING A TEACHING ASSISTANT APPRENTICESHIP, WITH THE HOPE TO DEVELOP HIS SKILLS AND CAREER IN YOUTH WORK. IN HIS FREE TIME HE LIKES TO PLAY FOOTBALL AND LISTEN TO PODCASTS.

“I had first found out about FBB in 2016 when I was invited to take part in the community session that were running in Kennington park. I joined FBB because I felt it was a opportunity to put my skill sets and abilities to use and help the youth. I grew up seeing a lot of bad influences and role models influence other young people around me and I use that as drive to make me do better and push others around me to do better.”

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Project Lead (London)

Richard Demuro

RICHARD HAS A DEGREE IN SPORTS DEVELOPMENT & COACHING AND HAS WORKED IN BOTH PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS. HE HAS RECENTLY COMPLETED HIS HIS UEFA B FOOTBALL COACHING QUALIFICATION. HE RUNS AN UNDER 18 FOOTBALL TEAM IN SOUTH LONDON AT THE WEEKEND IN HIS SPARE TIME HE WATCHES A LOT OF SPORT ON TV, OR IN A STADIUM. HE IS INSPIRED BY SEEING ATHLETES PERFORM AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. HE ALSO LIKES SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHICH USUALLY INVOLVES EATING GOOD QUALITY FOOD!

“I joined FBB because of my passion to work with young people and combine the power of football and education. The work we do at FBB is so important to young people as we build genuine and trusting relationships that ensures their positive development within society. Young people have voiced their frustration in feeling undermined by adults and we ensure that they have adults in their lives that listen and appreciate them for who they are.”

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Educational Assistant (North-West)

ROYA MEHDIZADEH-VALOUJERDY

ROYA JOINED FBB AFTER COMPLETING UNIVERSITY AT LEEDS BECKETT. SHE STUDIED SPORT DEVELOPMENT AND ALSO WORKED AT THE LEEDS UNITED FOUNDATION WITH PREMIER LEAGUE KICKS AS THEIR SOCIAL ACTION PROJECT LEAD. ROYA COACHES AT LEEDS UNITED GIRLS ACADEMY AND VOLUNTEERS IN FOOTBALL IN HER SPARE TIME, CHAIRING THE FA NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL. AS WELL AS BEING A TEAM LEADER AT THE YOUTH SPORT TRUST AND PREVIOUSLY BEING A GAME CHANGER AT KICK IT OUT.

“It is a real privilege to work at an organisation that exists to positively impact the lives of young people. I am so excited to be supporting the North West FBB team on our journey and work alongside such fantastic individuals to change lives!”

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Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioner (London)

SAFIA EL DABI

SAFIA JOINED FBB IN AUGUST 2020. BEFORE JOINING THE TEAM SAF WAS WORKING ON AN ARTIST RESIDENCY AT TATE MODERN LEADING ART WORKSHOPS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. ALONGSIDE HER TATE WORK SHE ALSO TRAINED AS AN ART PSYCHOTHERAPIST. SAF ENJOYS DANCING, RUNNING AND EXPLORING HER ART PRACTICE.

“I feel passionately about FBB’s focus on leaving no young person behind. FBB champions the passions of young people by meeting them where they are and building from that place. It’s about recognising a future beyond the borders of what you thought was possible.”

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Project Lead (North-West)

SAM HULME

SAM JOINED FBB IN SEPTEMBER 2020 HAVING PREVIOUSLY WORKED IN A HIGH SCHOOL AS A PASTORAL AND BEHAVIOURAL SUPPORT WORKER. PRIOR TO THIS, SAM STUDIED YOUTH AND COMMUNITY WORK AT UNIVERSITY. WHILST STUDYING, HE WAS ABLE TO SPEND A COUPLE OF YEARS WORKING WITH AT RISK YOUNG PEOPLE WITH THE TARGETED YOUTH SUPPORT TEAM IN BOLTON. HAVING PREVIOUSLY PLAYED FOR ACCRINGTON STANLEY, SAM STILL LIKES TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN HIS SPARE TIME AND IS ALSO SIGNED TO AN ACTING AGENT.

“Joining FBB as a Project Lead allows me to combine my two main passions; Youth work and Football. This for me is a huge bonus and I haven’t seen any other companies that combine the two so well. Having grown up as a young person facing adversity during my School years, I appreciate first hand the difficulties that some young people face in terms of being engaged at School. I hope my experience will help young people on my projects to succeed and become the best version of themselves”

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Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioner (North-West)

SAM RUSSELL

SAM JOINED FFB AFTER COMPLETING HIS MASTER’S IN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY (PERSON-CENTERED) AT KEELE UNIVERSITY. PRIOR TO THIS HE WORKED IN THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SECTOR IN A RANGE OF DIFFERENT ROLES FROM SUPPORT WORKER TO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE LIKES TO PLAY RUGBY, LEARN MUAY THAI AND SLEEP. 

“I am very happy to be joining an organisation that centers young people and really puts them first. As a person-centered practitioner this aligns with both my practice and my personal beliefs. I look forward to being there throughout young people’s journey with FBB and learning as much from them as they do from me.” 

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Producer and Development Lead (North-West)

SAMEED REZAYAN

SAMEED JOINED OUR NORTHWEST TEAM IN SEPTEMBER 2019. HE IS MANCHESTER BORN AND BRED AND DID HIS MASTERS IN POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER. SINCE THEN, HE HAS TOURED THE WORLD AS A DJ, RELEASED A NUMBER OF RECORDS AS A MUSIC PRODUCER AND REGULARLY HOSTS A RADIO SHOW. HE IS ALSO A PROUD FATHER OF A 2-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER WHO IS HIS BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AND IS WELL ON HER WAY TO BECOMING A CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLER OR DINOSAUR!

“I first found out about FBB when I was studying Politics at University. I joined FBB because it combined my passion for young people, affirmative action and football. I grew up in South Manchester and witnessed my community fall foul to measures of austerity with closures of youth centres, increased crime and a lack of positive provisions. I studied my MA in Politics at Manchester University and then volunteered to work with children with special education needs at a local school. I love working with young people and have been doing so for the last 7 years.”

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Curriculum Lead & Part-Time Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioner (London)

STEFAN IMESON

STEFAN WORKED AS A SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER FOR 7 YEARS BEFORE JOINING FBB AND IS A QUALIFIED FOOTBALL COACH AND COMMUNITY SPORTS LEADER. HE IS CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS BECOMING A THERAPIST. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE LIKES TO DO YOGA, AND SPEND TIME WITH HIS WIFE AND LITTLE GIRL.

“I joined FBB in late 2018 having followed the organisation for some time. FBB’s work is so important because it uses football as a platform to engage young people who might otherwise find it hard to access learning; not just academically speaking, but the social, emotional and behavioural learning that is sadly overlooked in many educational institutions. Being youth-led, the starting point for much of FBB’s work in schools is to design engaging and exciting projects that play to young people’s passions and allow them to flourish in an environment that doesn’t feel constrained and pressured.”

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Head of People (London)

TIMI AKINYEMI

TIMI’S FBB JOURNEY BEGAN AS A PARTICIPANT AT OUR COMMUNITY TIMI JOINED FBB IN 2016 AND HIS JOURNEY HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING. FROM PLAYING FOOTBALL ON THE COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES AND BEING A VOLUNTEER, HE HAS PROGRESSED THROUGH THE ORGANISATION AND IS NOW PART OF THE SLT AT FOOTBALL BEYOND BORDERS AS THE ‘HEAD OF PEOPLE’. TIMI IS REALLY KEEN TO BRING EXCITEMENT, LOVE AND CARE TO THE WORKING CULTURE OF THE ORGANISATION. LONG LIVE TIMI. IN HIS SPARE TIME HE IS A YOUTUBE SENSATION. CHECK OUT THE TLK FAMILY PAGE.

I am extremely happy to be in an environment that encourages growth and learning all the time. The staff culture and people in it are phenomenal and I couldn’t imagine doing the role I do with any other group of people”

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Head of Programmes

Tom Bateman

TOM JOINED THE FBB TEAM IN AUGUST 2019 AS OUR HEAD OF PROGRAMMES. BORN IN KENT, HE GREW UP PLAYING FOOTBALL WITH FBB DIRECTOR JASPER KAIN. PLAYING EVERYDAY WITH AN ACADEMY PLAYER, TOM QUICKLY REALISED THAT FOOTBALL WAS NOT HIS CALLING AND INSTEAD, HE WENT ON TO PURSUE A DEGREE IN HISTORY. TOM SPENT 7 YEARS AS A HISTORY TEACHER AND HEAD OF YEAR AT A SECONDARY SCHOOL IN CROYDON, WHICH ALSO BECAME THE FIRST EVER FBB SCHOOL’S PROJECT.

“While only officially joining the staff team in 2019, i’ve been involved with FBB for many years being given the title ‘FBB’s best ever volunteer’. I’ve been heavily involved with setting up our first project in a school and helping shape the FBB Schools Programme. With my experience working in schools, I hope to support FBB in continuing to develop the model as we expand to more and more schools.”

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Therapeutic Wellbeing Practitioner (London)

Tom Perez

TOM PEREZ OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “PEZ” WAS HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR 3 YEARS IN ITS FOUNDING STAGE, BUILDING THE BRAND FROM SCRATCH. HE HAS A DEGREE IN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCES FROM CAMBRIDGE AND IS AN FA LEVEL 2 COACH. HE IS CURRENTLY TRAINING AS A LEVEL 2 BACP COUNSELLOR AND WORKS AS A YOUTH THERAPIST FOR FBB. IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE IS A PASSIONATE STORYTELLER AND FILMMAKER, AND ENJOYS DOCUMENTING THE GROWTH OF POWERFUL COMMUNITY PROJECTS. 

“Football has been hugely important to my life, helping me to make friends and break down borders whilst growing up in Zimbabwe and then moving between the UK and Spain, where my parents live. I’ve been so lucky to meet so many positive people through football and it’s had such a positive impact on my life. Now through FBB, we’re able to amplify that kind of impact so that young people across the country can benefit from it too. I’m delighted to be back working at FBB as a therapist and using my own experiences of mental health issues to be able to support young people who are at risk of exclusion. FBB’s growth over the last 5 years has been epic – I hope that in the next 5 years we can do even more amazing things and turn FBB into a national movement that champions and elevates the young people of today!”

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Operations Manager

Viktorija Pociute

VIKTORIJA HAS A DEGREE IN MEDIA FROM BRIGHTON UNIVERSITY. SHE MANAGES OUR OFFICE AND YOUTH HUB IN SOUTH LONDON AND IS ALSO FBB’s IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER. IN HER SPARE TIME, SHE LIKES TO TAKE CANDID PHOTOS THAT CAPTURE AND PRESERVE PRECIOUS SECONDS OF RAW REALITY. SHE ALSO LOVES TO READ, WATCH BASKETBALL AND WRITE  POETRY.

“I joined FBB on January 3rd, 2018, a date I will never forget. It has been one of the most transformative and fulfilling experiences of my life to date. I joined FBB because I believe in the vision of a fair and inclusive society in which every young person feels confident in themselves and has equal chances to follow their passions, utilise their talents and live their best lives. Being a part of the FBB family has made me see the world in a different light and realise how much impact we can have on young people’s lives. Being surrounded by a team of such committed and caring people has reassured me about my own values in life and allowed me to grow both as a professional and a human being.”

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Manchester United footballer - Currently playing at AS Roma

Chris Smalling

The Manchester United and England International footballer became our patron in February 2019. He relates to our mission through his own journey. He lost his father when he was 5 and was brought up in a single parent family. He played non-league from 14-18 years old and had a place to study at university before signing for Fulham at the age of 18. He has a real passion to help young people achieve their potential and values the power of education to support them. He has been integral in supporting our expansion to the North West of England. This has included partnering with us on an educational scheme of work called the Good Life which explores how to become a more conscientious and caring person. 

“FBB is changing lives – changing mentality and belief through engaging and effective learning. We are living in a society which pigeon holes your ‘am I good enough’ mentality to a restrictive curriculum of English, Maths and Science. Football Beyond Borders opens up a young person’s landscape to creative industries and learning, establishing new beliefs and an ability to succeed.

I was drawn to FBB because I could see how committed their staff were and their ability to relate to kids, whatever background they come from. It gives young people a dream that I think when you are in school doesn’t seem possible. They instil belief in young people and make them realise that if you have a dream you should follow it.

I am excited to be in a position to help the organisation expand and establish itself in the North West, having witnessed the difference it has made to the lives of young people in the South. Manchester has been my home for the last 9 years and the patronage offers me the opportunity to give back to those that have given me so much throughout my career at Manchester United.”

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Sky Sports Pundit, Presenter, and Author

Guillem Ballague

Guillem Balague has been a key fixture in Sky Sports’ coverage of Spanish football for 20 years, appearing weekly on Revista de La Liga, as well as regular pundit at the weekend. In the summer of 2018 he moved to BBC Sport where he is presenting a weekly Radio5Live show on European football, has a regular show where he interviews the top names in football (Pep Guardiola was the first one), and he writes a blog and creates content for the broadcaster (Champions League and Premier League coverage). He is also the UK Correspondent for AS, the Madrid-based Spanish sports newspaper and a regular contributor to El Partidazo (COPE), the biggest football radio show in Spain, plus he writes a regular column on Goal.com.

“During my four year association with them I have seen the charity grow at an amazing rate. Based in and operating from London, they have established a relationship with a number of schools and have helped numerous children to discover talents and abilities that they never knew they had. To see how they use the power of the “beautiful game” to instil basic social and life skills in the kids; to see how their confidence and self esteem grows; to witness their growth into mature and active members of their communities (many continue to work with the charity in later years, helping to coach and encourage the junior children) makes me very proud and truly humbled to have been fortunate enough to be their Patron.”

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Professional Ironman Triathlete and Public Speaker

John McAvoy

John McAvoy received a life sentence for armed robbery and was sent to Belmarsh Prison. He used sport to turn his life around in prison, breaking a World Record for rowing whilst in the prison gym. He has since gone on to become a professional Iron-Man triathlete. However it is his devotion to using his life lessons to inspire young people not to make the same mistakes that he did that draws him to FBB. He is a powerful advocate of the importance of providing young people with relatable role models within properly resourced youth centres. He is a prolific public speaker and provides regular guidance to our participants.

“Football Beyond Borders is an amazing organisation. They are driven by committed and motivated individuals who are determined to make a real difference. I have seen first-hand the powerful work they are doing to change the lives of young people. They believe in young people and give them the support network and guidance to achieve their potential.”

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Patron

Troy Townsend

Troy Townsend is the Education Manager for the organisation Kick it Out. He leads on their Equality Inspires Programme in partnership with the Premier League. Delivering educational workshops around equality and life skills to staff, players and parents of the Premier League and English Football League Academies. He also leads on Kick It Out’s successful Raise Your Game series, which looks to address gaps in representation across all areas of the game, through mentoring events. He is one of the leading voices in the country challenging the injustices that continue to exist within grassroots football.

Troy is a judge for the London Football Awards and The FA Respect Awards. He was also named on Football’s Blacklist in 2014 and 2017 which celebrates the Caribbean and African achievement in the British game and became one of the FA’S 150 Grassroots Heroes.

“I believe in everything FBB does to help, support and empower our young people, in a period of time in society that they are too easily judged. I have continued to value the impact of young people, so becoming a patron, is a very proud moment for me. As a former teacher, I understand the impact of positive role models on the lives of vulnerable young people. Young people cry out for guidance, someone to believe in them and opportunities to show off their personalities. FBB’S work is all that and so much more. They are developing our next generation of young leaders, who can walk tall in today’s world.

My hopes for FBB are to support them to continue having an impact. If I can help FBB get more exposure, support more young people from different communities, provide more opportunities then I will do just that. If we believe in young people, we should do all that we can to help.”

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Trustee

Alex Carroll

Alex has worked in the football industry for a decade, starting his career at Tottenham Hotspur and spending the last 5 years at Queens Park Rangers where he is the Academy Director. Alex is passionate about providing young people with a platform to showcase their potential and believes that FBB does just that.

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Trustee

Barak Ngoma

Barak has been a part of Football Beyond Borders for a good part of 5 years. First as a participant, then as a volunteer and now as a trustee. He has been positively impacted by the work we do and has become an ambassador for the brand. He’s currently reading History and Politics at university and is poised to launch and run his own start up in the coming years. Barak will become the first youth addition to the Board of Trustees and is very excited to join the team.

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Trustee

Ian Gethin

Ian is an adviser to numerous organisations in the social and private sectors. Recent roles have included advising a London based arts charity on devising an impact measurement programme, advising an education charity on its social enterprise activities and financial forecasting capabilities and advising a national philanthropic body on future development and strategy; as well as being chair and non-executive director for a number of individual infrastructure investment companies.

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Trustee

Keme Nzeram

Keme has been a journalist for 15 years, after spending his formative years in the 3rd sector. He joined the board of FBB because he believes football is uniquely placed to help young people value, and strive to achieve their full potential. And to become active and responsible citizens.

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Acting Chair of Trustees

Richard Wheeler

Richard has nearly 20 years experience working in the media and technology sector and currently leads an international business development team at Google. A long time Arsenal fan, Richard is passionate about harnessing the power of sport and football in particular make a positive difference to young peoples through education.

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Trustee

Zoya Wallington

Zoya grew up in Hackney, training at Central School of Ballet as a teenager where she learned the message ‘talent is work’. Zoya is using her work in design, research and evidence to ensure that young people are receiving the value they deserve from their education regardless of where they grow up.

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FBB Partner School

Bacon’s College

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FBB Partner School

Barlow RC High School

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FBB Partner School

Beauchamps

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FBB Partner School

Beckmead School

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FBB Partner School

Chesnut Grove

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FBB Partner School

Children Support Services Basildon

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FBB Partner School

Chorlton High School

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FBB Partner School

Coop Academy

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FBB Partner School

Educational Diversity

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FBB Partner School

Evelyn Grace

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FBB Partner School

Harris Aspire

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FBB Partner School

Harris Garrard

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FBB Partner School

Harris Morden

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FBB Partner School

Harris Peckham

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FBB Partner School

Harrop Ford School

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FBB School Partner

Hyndburn​ Academy

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FBB Partner School

Kemnal Technology College

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FBB Partner School

Ladybridge Community School

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FBB Partner School

Marsden Heights Community College

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FBB Partner School

Salford City Academy

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FBB Partner School

Sandringham Primary School

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FBB Partner School

Sedgehill School

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FBB Partner School

St Gabriels

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FBB Partner School

St Josephs College

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FBB Partner School

St Marks

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FBB Partner School

St Mary Magdeline

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FBB Partner School

The Albion Academy

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FBB Partner School

The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy

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FBB Partner School

The Elmgreen School

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FBB Partner School

The Norwood School

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FBB Partner School

Totteridge Academy

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FBB Partner School

Unity School

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FBB School Partner

Walthamstow School

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FBB Partner School

William Hulme School

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FBB Partner School

Woodbridge School

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FBB Partner School

Woodlands Academy

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Delivery Partner

Clarion Housing

Clarion Housing is the largest housing association in the country, owning and managing 125,000 homes across over 170 local authorities. 360,000 people call a Clarion home their home. Clarion Housing is part of Clarion Housing Group which comprises a charitable foundation, Clarion Futures, and is also one of the country’s leading house builders.

https://www.myclarionhousing.com

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Delivery Partner

Fair Education Alliance

The Fair Education Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations working together to drive lasting change at a local and national level. We monitor the gap between the most disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers, and use our collective voice and resources to end educational inequality.

https://www.faireducation.org.uk

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Delivery Partner

Teach First

A child form a disadvantaged background is less likely to get good GCSE’s and go onto higher education. The effects of this slow start can last a lifetime, widening social inequality. It’s a cycle we are determined to help schools break.

https://www.teachfirst.org.uk

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Delivery Partner

The FA

The FA is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

http://www.thefa.com

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Delivery Partner

The Harris Federation

The Harris Federation is a no-for-profit charity with over 25 years’ experience of education in and around London. We have built our reputation on a family of Academies that, across the board, are setting standards of excellence and fulfilling high expectations.

https://www.harrisfederation.org.uk

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Delivery Partner

United Learning

We are a group of schools which aims to provide excellent education to children and young people across the country. We seek to improve the life chances of all the children and young people we serve and make it our mission to bring out ‘the best in everyone’ – students, staff, parents and the wider community. Uniquely, our Group includes significant numbers of schools in both the public and the private sectors, working together for mutual benefit.

https://unitedlearning.org.uk

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Corporate Partner

Gillette

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Corporate Partner

Mishcon De Reya

Based in London with offices in New York, Mishcon de Reya services an international community of clients and provides advice in situations where the constraints of geography often do not apply. The work we undertake is cross-border, multi-jurisdictional and complex.

https://www.mishcon.com

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Corporate Partner

Nike

Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.

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Corporate Partner

Salesforce

Salesforce is a customer relationship management solution that brings companies and customers together. It’s one integrated CRM platform that gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a single, shared view of every customer.

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Corporate Partner

USM

Unique Sports Management (USM) is a leading full-service sports management agency representing over 150 elite players across the Premier League, Championship and major European leagues. Founded in 2008 USM has grown rapidly with operations in the UK (London and Manchester), Spain, France, and the US. Named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most powerful Global sports agencies, USM are experts in the field of transfer and contract negotiations as well as commercial and media profile building.

The partnership sees USM provide additional funding to support our programmes as well as arranging regular visits from USM clients who are Premier League footballers to share first hand their knowledge, experience and life lessons to our participants. This has already seen the likes of Manchester United fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend attend workshops with over 50 participants.

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