Words by Marisa Krentz
On Thursday, May 10th 2012, the Futbolr team had the pleasure of being invited to the launch of an incredible charity event ¨The Guy Mascolo Football Charity¨ (GMFC) which took place in Battersea, London, England. The charity was created in the memory of Guy Mascolo (founder of the Toni&Guy Group), who was an enthusiastic soccer fan and spent a lot of his free time playing with various teams.In his memory the Mascolo family created a charity to encourage children in the Clapham area to play soccer, have fun, demonstrate that soccer is more than just a sport and unify children from various backgrounds and cultures. An additional reason behind this idea was because the Mascolo family found it difficult to find any soccer clubs in the Clapham area or even ones that were affordable, therefore it was one of their priorities to create a charity that would be affordable(and sometimes free) so that no child would be turned down due to finances. The aim of GMFC is to provide quality soccer coaching to all children in the local community and provide a sense of family spirit by also arranging after school activities and educating the youth.
The event began on a great note, a beautiful and cozy location where we were greeted with food & beverages. It was held at the 'Library Space',which was the perfect location. The decor, the setting and the people created a very warm atmosphere. We immediately felt the family/community spirit in the room and felt right at ease with all the other guests. It was an amazing night filled with various presentations about the Bed Head Football Club (BHFC) from when it was first founded in 2007 up until their current projects.
The support of GMFC is what enables the BHFC to remain affordable to the families within the community and enables them to provide quality coaching to all the children showing interest, skill or talent. The Bed Head Football club was created by Anthony Mascolo, International Creative Director of TIGI Bed Head and Laurence Batty, ex-professional footballer and coach, with the aim of starting an under 11's football team to play in organized league matches. At the beginning they had 15 boys and over the years and as of September 2011 they had more than 200 between the ages of 7-15 registered to enter the league.They have come a long way since then - A lot of blood sweat and futbol - and thanks to the hard work and dedication they not only have more children attending the academy. Many projects have been created or are in the pipeline. This has allowed them to reach out to different age groups, invest in better quality trainings, commence the goal getting project, senior development group, etc.
All projects are of course football related, but differ in terms of the target age groups, skills, or education. For example, the aim of the goal getter project, is to train 2-3 times a week with games on the weekends, but also hold workshops on social issues. The Senior Development project on the other hand is geared towards young men from the ages between 17-24 who played professionally, but because of negative outside influences they lost their chance to succeed and pursue their dreams. Other projects include Street FC, In School Programme, The Girls Football Training Centre, which you read up on via their website at http://www.guymascolofc.co.uk
Along with the various projects and the loving family spirit that they have created we witnessed pure talent first hand and were able to see the positives resulting from all the hard work. Following the presentations made informing us about the projects various individuals went on stage including a talented young man called who provided us with a very entertaining soccer freestyle show. It was an amazing and fun presentation to conclude the evening. It was great to see all the love that has gone into this charity and the talent that it has produced over the years. Just to name a few of the positive results/achievements from the program:
- 1 young individual achieved an FA level coaching award
- 1 individual will be an Olympic torch bearer
- 1 U15 player will trial at an NPower division 2 club
- 2 players were signed to a semi pro club
- U15 team are Division B champions
In the short amount of time Bed Head FC has been able to create and develop outstanding individuals, coaches and players and we are looking forward to the future and see what is still to come...
When we were first told about this launch there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to attend. Futbolr wanted to be part of such a special night, meet the kind hearts behind the idea, the peoples lives that had been touched, the upcoming projects and we wanted to see how we in some shape or form could be of any assistance.
Futbolr and GMFC have the same mission and that is to promote the beauty of soccer/football, demonstrate that it is more than just a sport and that it is an excellent means to unifying people from various backgrounds, cultures, walks of life and countries. The beauty of soccer is not only in the way one plays, the style, the tricks, the goals, the saves, it is much greater. Playing a sport such as soccer teaches children how to play/interact with teammates, take on leadership roles, adhere to superiors, know how to win and lose, respect one another, work & practice hard and these are all important qualities that are transferable and important in our every day lives, more specifically essential in our personal lives and/or professional careers. Prior to and following the evenings presentation we met many amazing and inspiring people and are looking forward to meeting them in the future to determine how GMFC and Futbolr can work together as a team.