Football Beyond Borders has appointed former Street League CEO Matt Stevenson-Dodd as its new Chair of Trustees.
Matt oversaw Street League’s growth from two cities to 14 in his nine years at the charity between 2010 and 2019, while he also led the Sport for Development Coalition’s Board for two years until early 2020.
He joins Football Beyond Borders (FBB) at an exciting stage in the charity’s journey as it seeks to grow its programmes nationally.
FBB exists to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who may have become disengaged in mainstream education, and help them finish school with the skills and grades to make a successful transition into adulthood.
Commenting on his appointment, Matt said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of Football Beyond Borders.
“The next few years will be immensely challenging for all young people and, if we are to build a stronger society post-Covid, we must work harder than ever to ensure no-one is left on the sidelines.
“FBB has an incredible track record of engaging young people aged 12 to 16, living in the most disadvantaged communities, harnessing the power of football together with the right mix of therapeutic support, youth work, skills and education to help them stay in school and achieve great GCSE results.”
During the 2019-20 academic year, 98% of FBB participants on their programme finished the year in school, while 78% of programme graduates achieved a Level 4 or above in their English and maths GCSEs.
This year FBB was announced as the winner of the Social and Environmental Impact category at the Sports Industry Awards, and received the Centre for Social Justice’s Education Award.
Jasper Kain, Co-Director of FBB, said: “At a time when the demand for our work is greater than ever and young people need consistent support, we are delighted with Matt’s appointment as Chair. He brings ambition and a wealth of experience and expertise in running highly effective national charities.
“He is a great leader, listener and innovator who has a real passion for changing the lives of young people. His skills and experience will be integral in guiding us to deliver our new strategy in what we know will be a tough external climate over the coming years, ensuring that we can continue to be right there for thousands of young people across the UK.”
Matt has a wealth of experience from a career in youth work, social impact and sport for development. Under his leadership, Street League enjoyed an average 42% growth in impact every year and 24% annual growth in income, expanding from 25 staff across two cities in 2010, to 14 cities and 140 full-time staff nine years later, changing the lives of thousands of young people every year.
Matt said: “I’ve been fortunate to work with a range of organisations that use sport to change lives throughout my career and I am so inspired by all that Jack (Reynolds) and Jasper have achieved as joint CEOs and founders.
“I really believe their innovative use of football can reach beyond the borders of the pitch to unlock talent in every classroom. So I’m looking forward to working with them, the Board and the whole FBB team to transform life chances for young people right across our country.”