January 29, 2016 London

Trustee & Founder Rio Ferdinand makes surprise visit to RFF London Programmes!


Everyone at the Foundation was thrilled yesterday when Founder and Trustee Rio Ferdinand visited us at the Kia Oval and joined in our training and youth work programmes.

404 Not Found Rio surprised our young people from Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark, who have been engaged in our 5 Star Active programme, and took part in our training session – shocked is an understatement, our young people were absolutely ecstatic! Our work is guided by the idea of giving young people positive role models and creating opportunities, today really brought that to life!

After the peer mentoring training session Rio and our young people enjoyed a guided tour of the iconic Kia Oval – all thanks to our 5 Star Active partners Active Communities Network.  We were also joined by the Mayors’ of Lambeth and Southwark respectively, as well as a host of local partners and supporters including Hyde Housing, Lighthouse, and Kickr.

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At the end of the day, we all jumped in a cab with Rio and made another group of our young people very happy by visiting them at our football training session at Walworth Academy in Southwark. Jaws dropped as Rio walked in and everyone gasped with excitement. After a chat with Walworth Academy’s Head Teacher and some of the school Prefects, Rio refereed and joined in a game of football with our young players. After the game was finished Rio took all the time to meet the young players, congratulating them on a good game and taking time to chat and answer all their questions. Rio said,

“I’m just so proud of all these young people and everything they’ve achieved, it’s great to meet them all in person and get involved with the programme”. 

An amazing day was had by all of the young people, partners and staff at the Foundation – everyone was grinning from ear to ear as they made their way home. Ryan Bish (pictured in green below), London Programme Manager said

“It’s fantastic that young people from the project and Rio could meet and get a chance to talk. Especially since he grew up in the same area as them. I think they’ll all be walking home a few feet taller after today.”