Birkbeck entrepreneur brings American Football to the UK
Birkbeck student Faz Hossenally recently held a celebration event to mark the completion of the Fam First Foundation 12-week programme, which was delivered by her new business venture FloRéal Sports at Eastlea Community School in Newham. The programme aims to open the gateway for American Football coaching to be delivered to children in the UK and will soon be rolled out to more schools in East London following its success. The programme consisted of a mentoring programme that taught life skills and coincided with American Flag Football sessions.
Hossenally, who studies Sports Management at the School of Business, Economics and Informatics at Birkbeck, started the initiative with friend Rani Lewinson after identifying the gap in provision while researching her dissertation.
She said: “FloRéal Sports started through my dissertation and understanding the importance of promoting the Lerner "5 Cs" framework through sports. The framework focuses on enhancing adolescent development, and for helping youth reach their full potential. We chose American Football as a new sport to engage with young people in London. I am very proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time and look to continue working across all 32 boroughs of London.”
The event was run in partnership with the West Ham United Foundation and the Fam First Foundation – the latter of whose founders, NFL players Joshua Johnson and Marshawn Lynch, were present to lead a Football meets Football concept drill to inspire the students.
Johnson and Lynch are both from underprivileged backgrounds, and have overcome many obstacles to reach their current success, playing for the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders respectively. For many children in London today, this event could mark the first step on the journey to overcoming similar barriers.
Richard Tacon, Lecturer in Management at Birkbeck, supervised Hossenally throughout her degree, and addressed the students at the event. He said: “The celebration event was fantastic. It was great to see one of our current students, Faz Hossenally, working directly within sport and seeking to use sport’s social and cultural significance to improve the lives of young people.
The sport programmes here at Birkbeck are designed to provide students with detailed academic understanding of the sport industry and the practical capacity to work effectively in the sport industry. Faz’s co-founding of FloRéal Sports is a great example of this. We wish her success with all her work.”