This is the second of four blogs introducing the team that will be running the second ever kicking Off tournament in Ghana at the end of October 2017.
I'm Amanda, Julian's second cousin. Or cousin once removed?… I'm not really sure, but we are family, somehow! Anyway, for a while, we rather lost touch, as I was travelling and working in Australia, and he was busy in London. Except for news on the family grapevine, we didn’t see each other until last year when we arranged to meet in London, for a drink. It was at this meeting, that Julian introduced me to the concept of Kicking Off and, immediately I was on board. I might be slightly biased, but Julian’s ability to turn his vision into reality, was really compelling and, as soon as I understood what Kicking Off was hoping to accomplish, I knew I had to put my name down to help.
Initially, I wasn’t sure how useful I would be, as, although I have many skills, ranging from project management to event planning and sales, I wasn’t sure I had any that would specifically benefit Kicking Off. However, it turns out that I am a great fundraiser, and my lack of football skills will not be an issue on the trip, as I am going to be working with the girls in the community, finding out more about their specific needs – so we can factor these into Kicking Off’s plan for a Community Resource hub. As well as this, I will be helping Jack to run the first Girls’ Tournament.
And who is Jack? Well he must be an even more removed cousin than I am! Jack and I got married this summer, after travelling and working together in Australia for several years, and then running a pub for 18 months near Swindon. We have both been looking to get involved in something that feels worthwhile (other than adopting our huge and beautiful rescue dog Mitsy) – so Kicking Off seemed the perfect thing to do.
Here is what Jack has to say about his involvement with Kicking Off.
Amanda and I have been looking for ‘another adventure’ for some time, but have also felt it was important to do something useful. When it was suggested we went to Ghana, with Kicking Off, it seemed like the perfect solution – and I am really looking forward to getting out there and getting on with it, now we are so close to going. Like Amanda, I feel I am something of a ‘Jack of all trades’, in that I have travelled and worked my way around Australia, so am very adaptable, I love woodworking and practical work, but have also been in pub management, and am currently logistics manager for a prestigious wallpaper company! Weirdly, all these random attributes seem to come together in that my task in Ghana where, as well as running the Girls’ Tournament, I will be working with Keith to gather information about the what, where and how of locating and building a Kicking Off community resource hub.
We are here to support the Kicking Off team wherever they feel our skills will most useful, and we can’t wait to see the result of everyone's hard work in Ghana at the end of October.