Football Beyond Borders: The football charity attracting Premier League stars and inspiring youngsters
Raheem Sterling met them after scoring his England hat-trick and Chris Smalling has just become a patron.
Meet Football Beyond Borders: a fast-growing charity making a massive difference.
It began in 2009 in London but after launching a scheme in the North West it is now reaching 600 children.
The story is familiar – a kid who loves football but struggles in the classroom.
That is where FBB comes in with a football-based education programme.
Speaking to talkSPORT at a special event in Manchester, the England defender said: “I came from a disadvantaged background and when people class you as ‘disadvantaged’ your dreams are so far away you can’t really realise them.”
Twenty miles away youngsters at Accrington Academy are in that position and many have never travelled outside their home town.
Every week Football Beyond Borders runs a two-hour session for them: one hour in the classroom and one in the sports hall.
Lucy is in Year 8 and she said it’s changing her school life: “I kept getting angry in class and FBB have taught me how to calm myself down. It’s a lot easier to learn now,” she admitted.
FBB mix up the rules to teach valuable life-skills. Allowing only one child per team to speak develops their leadership qualities and trains others in different communication methods.
Oliver, 13, said: “You come from not being anything to being something good and it makes you feel proud about yourself and everyone else.”
Meeting Premier League stars is another way the children get inspired.
Following his England hat-trick against Czech Republic, Raheem Sterling took the time to meet FBB participants at Wembley.
Yaya Toure, Yannick Bolasie, Santi Cazorla and Gary Neville have all been interviewed by children through Football Beyond Borders.
The charity’s effect is startling to say the least.
FBB claims kids taking part are involved in 31% fewer incidents of bad behaviour and achieve a 48% improvement in teacher-assessed attitude to learning.
A high ability to play football isn’t required to join in and games include boys and girls from different year groups.
FBB worker Clifford Harrop said: “The main thing is to create relationships and let them know someone cares about them, and then begin to fill them with self-worth.”
The charity was born after a trip to the Middle-East where football was being used to bring people together.
The first schools were introduced in the Brixton area of London, but Co-Founder Jasper Kain says he wants to reach every disadvantaged area in the country.
“There are thousands of young people who have a love for the game but are under-achieving in our education system,” Kain said.
Smalling added: “School can be tough, but merging it with football is the perfect way to get children to learn.”
Source: SportsLatest TS