Behind the scenes at our #SL4SL launch

With an excellent launch to our South London 4 South London campaign last week, our young digital leaders are still buzzing from all the excitement. The group of five aspiring young film-makers Joe, Connor, Salar, Eoin and Aidan came down to the launch event and ran the Foundation’s media for the day. 

Arriving on site early before Rio arrived and Gavin finished training, our young production team busied themselves setting up their equipment and talking through their ideas and vision for what they wanted out of the day. 

They started off with interviewing our Patron and Founder, Rio, having prepared a list of questions – from who’s the best player you’ve ever played with and who was your idol growing up to what’s so important about this South London for South campaign. After answering all their starry-eyed questions with a bit of banter, Rio said:

‘This campaign brings together the whole of the London community – people, community groups, schools and businesses to recognise the talent young people have and give them opportunities to succeed…’

He then turned the interview on its head asking the lads what’s their “end goal, where you hoping to go?”. It was clear the guys were a little stunned but Joe, who seems a natural leader in the group, cleared his throat and told Rio all about the production company they are trying to start up. Keen to help, Rio has agreed to meet up with the boys again and listen to their ideas and see what links he can help them with. The boys were clearly all blown away by the opportunity!

Joe, Salar, Rio, Aidan, Connor and Eion

The rest of the day was a blur of excitement as they interviewed Rio and Dulwich FC Manager Gavin Rose together on everything from their childhood days in Peckham to the idea for their #SL4SL campaign and of course, whose team was going to win the testimonial Legends and Celebrity XIs match (26th April 2020 at Dulwich Hamlet FC).

Next they moved all their equipment through into the main room to cover the press conference. The Foundation CEO, Gary Stannett, chaired the press conference and on the panel were Rio, Gavin and Dulwich Hamlet’s Nyren Clunis.

Gavin talked all about his work at the Club over the years and why he was donating his Testimonial Game to the campaign. He also talked about his charity Aspire which helps young lads to keep an eye on their education as well as on the ball. Nyren was testament to this and talked about the young lads he’s trained with over the years and how many of them would have dropped their education if it wasn’t for Gavin and Aspire ensuring they kept their options open.  Gavin said:

“The young people were working with just don’t know what’s out there for them and really lack in self-belief, we have to use whatever means we can to get through to them and open their eyes to the opportunities out there – that’s where the SL4SL Network comes in and why it’s so important”

Rio added:

“It’s vital we change young people’s perspectives and sense of purpose, to let them know there is a community that cares and a society they have a stake in”.

Rio Ferdinand Foundation Chair of Trustees, Binnie Crookes-Martin, chimed in from across the room

“It’s a testament to the commitment of Gavin and his team that they will use their testimonial year to help raise funds and support young people in South London. We at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation are proud to be delivering this campaign alongside Dulwich Hamlet FC and the Aspire Academy”.

RFF Trustees John, Binnie, Jim and Rio

You can donate to the campaign to become a network member and join us at a series of campaign events this season including the star-studded Legends and Celebrity XI’s Game at Champion’s Hill on 26th April 2020.