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Jamaican national football team visits ahead of World Cup debut

Young members of a Stonebridge sports charity were treated to a visit by the Jamaican national women’s football team ahead of their World Cup debut.

The team – nicknamed the Reggae Girlz – took part in a coaching session alongside youngsters from the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) at the Bridgestone Arena.

Dawn Butler MP joined councillors and community representatives to celebrate the achievements of the Caribbean team and their journey to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Jamaican coach Hue Menzies and his World Cup-bound squad shared some of their experience and imparted words of wisdom to the excited youngsters ahead of their debut in the competition on June 9 against a tough Brazilian side.

Jason Roberts Foundation was set up in 2007 to introduce children in Grenada and the UK to support young people, celebrate diversity and promote respect through sport.

The charity works with young people at risk of homelessness and committing crimes, those excluded from school or struggling in the curriculum, and young people with physical and learning difficulties.

Its values mirror The Reggae Girlz Foundation, a charity with its own mission to inspire, educate, mobilise and support young female football players in Jamaica.

Precious, a 13-year-old Jason Roberts Foundation participant, said: “I was delighted to meet the team and they inspired me by just being here and mixing with us.

“They told me to continue playing football because it helps with health and other things in life.”

Precious, who wants to become a lawyer, enjoyed the day’s activities including a match against Jason Roberts Foundation’s under-12 boys team.

Otis Roberts, Jason Roberts Foundation chief, said: “It was fantastic to welcome the Reggae Girlz and staff to the Bridgestone arena for this event .

“We were delighted to have support from the mayor of Brent, Dawn Butler MP and the community.

“The girls made a lasting impression on the young people and went to great lengths to engage with the many activities on offer.

“We at Jason Roberts Foundation would like to wish the team successful World Cup campaign.”

Images credit:

Youth in Action Launches in Grenada

Young people from the Youth in Action programme in Grenada, a new initiative announced today by the Jason Roberts Foundation, supported by Laureus Sport for Good, have met Britain’s Prince Harry during his visit to the island.

Today’s royal visit to Queen’s Park, in the Grenada capital St George’s, coincided with the formal launch of an ongoing partnership between Laureus and the Jason Roberts Foundation, that will ultimately help to improve the lives of young people throughout the Caribbean.

In addition to participants from Youth in Action, there were other boys and girls at Queen’s Park taking part in football, cricket and netball sessions, watched by Prince Harry, Jason Roberts and Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick, the former All Blacks’ captain.

Piloted in 2015 and 2016 by the Jason Roberts Foundation vulnerable young people from Grenada undertook sporting and personal development training, before representing their country in the Homeless World Cup tournaments in Amsterdam and Glasgow respectively. The newly announced Youth in Action uses former players from the teams as volunteers to run sports-based social action projects on the island to promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

From 2017 Laureus will be working with the Jason Roberts Foundation to extend a programme of sports participation and personal development across Grenada, with unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those at risk of offending. Previous graduates will act as roles models and mentors for new participants in the project.

The partnership will also produce a sport for development curriculum and an independent report with recommendations for how the concept can be repeated in other parts of the Caribbean.

Sean Fitzpatrick:At Laureus we believe that sport has the power to change the world and Prince Harry has shown his own personal commitment to that concept over many years. Everyone will applaud him for his idea to create the Invictus Games which shows how sport can be a dynamic force in helping recovery and I am delighted that we have been able to tell him about our new project in Grenada. With our friends from the Jason Roberts Foundation, we are determined to put this new programme on the map and hope that this is just the start of our work in the Caribbean.”


Jason Roberts: “I am extremely proud of the young people that have participated in our programmes in Grenada to date, and the new partnership with Laureus is a fantastic opportunity for my Foundation to scale up our work and impact on the lives of many more young people and communities in the country. To be announcing this partnership alongside a Royal visit demonstrates the impact that sport as a tool for development can have, and the credibility it has around the world. I and my team look forward to taking that mission into the Caribbean with Laureus in 2017.”

Partnership with Serge Betsen Foundation

Former French International rugby player; Serge Betsen has teamed up with Jason Roberts’ foundation to deliver rugby to young people in North West London.

Serge Betsen Rugby (SBR) was created in 2015 as part of Serge Betsen Consulting, to teach rugby and multisport to young people through a unique method mixing French and English standards and values.

SBR is a coaching programme that Serge Betsen created by going into schools and introducing students to the game. Since its creation, many partnerships were built to expand on their work, including the Jason Roberts Foundation.

The partnership rugby programme is delivered by SBR at JRF’s main delivery hub; the Pavilion in Stonebridge, where JRF has been delivering its programmes since 2007 engaging hard to reach young people aged 11-25 years old.

The programme is committed to use this unique sport to engage the local youths, enabling them to try out a new sport, keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

“This is an incredible programme that both my team and I are extremely happy to be a part of,” Said the former London Wasps player. “I first met the CEO; Otis Roberts, at an event in October last year and we started to talk about the work JRF is doing with young people and he expressed the Foundation’s interest in rugby.

“We both quickly realised that we are very passion about sport and how we can use sport to change young people’s lives for the better. In just a few months the rugby programme has already had an impact on many young people.

“You can tell that these young people have been coming to the JRF for years, but for the first time ever they have been introduced to rugby. The reactions we have had from the young people are fantastic.”

Betsen and his team delivered their first rugby session for JRF in January and they have since been involved with three half term programmes and weekly sessions.

Jason Roberts MBE, who is pleased to see the rugby legend coming on board as a partner, said: “It is an absolute pleasure working in partnership with Serge and his team.

“Their vision about using sport to changes lives falls right into our line of work and it has also been amazing having Serge’s support around events the Foundation has accommodated.”

The JRF hosted a Women’s Celebration Day in March as a part of the International Women’s Day at Ark Academy in Wembley.

The event was attended by more than 120 young females, who were introduced to six different sports and workshop on leadership with successful business women.

Betsen made a surprise visit at the event to show his support to the Foundation and Jason.

“It is incredible to see so many young females turning up and playing different sports all thanks to Jason and his Foundation,” Said Betsen. “The appeal of sport lies in its ability to bring people from various backgrounds together.”

Following a very fruitful start to the partnership, Betsen was invited to the JRF’s Celebration Dinner in April to sit on the sofa panel with Jason Roberts, Michail Antonio and Kelly Sotherton.

The panel was asked questions about their professional sports career and Betsen proudly talked about what rugby has given him and his family.

His career includes 63 international caps for French, 172 caps for Biarritz Olympique and he finished his career in London playing 79 games for London Wasps.

“Seeing so many people supporting the Foundation is incredible and it gives me a great pride to be asked to be on the sofa.

“This is only the beginning of a great partnership which strives to deliver positive activities and role models in the heart of our communities to improve young people at risk no matter of race, ethnic or ability.”

Jason Roberts Receives Honourary Doctor of Humane Letters

Jason has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the provision of sporting events for disabled children in both Grenada and the UK.

The award is also in recognition of the partnership between the Jason Roberts Foundation, WINDREF and St. George’s University, which has involved many of their students in the philanthropic activities. The Honorary Degree will be presented to Jason at the School of Graduate Studies/School of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremony, where Jason will be the Commencement Speaker.

The Jason Roberts Foundation was formed in 2007, and in 2008 the Foundation expanded their work from not only providing able bodies with sports sessions, but also delivering sports sessions for people with disabilities. The disability programme extended to Grenada in 2010, and the Foundation started to partner with St. George’s University.

The aim of this partnership is to provide skill-sharing, support and long-term assistance to the teachers, staff and students of the three Special Educational Needs schools in Grenada that the Foundation has worked with over the last five years. Since 2012, they have in partnership hosted eight ‘Festival of Sports’ Days for children aged from 5-18 with a range of disabilities including; autism, Cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome and other complex needs.

Jason Roberts MBE, Founder and Trustee of the Jason Roberts Foundation, said:

“I am extremely honoured to receive this Honorary Doctor on behalf of the work my Foundation has done in Grenada and the UK. Sport has a unique ability to transcend cultural and ethnic backgrounds, to motivate and to inspire.

“It gives me such pride to accept this award on behalf of all of the individuals and supporters who have given their time, resources and efforts to make other people’s lives a little bit better and I humbly accept this honourable doctorate in debt to them and my family who have supported me so much during this journey.”

Chancellor Charles R. Modica, said:

“This degree is being awarded to Mr. Jason Robert by the University in recognition of his outstanding contributions in empowering young people through sports”

Kevin Moulton, Jason Roberts Foundation’s Ambassador, Grenada, said;

“Through my almost 2 years in Grenada I have worked directly and indirectly with the organization to provide a structured Physical education structure for special needs children and several schools in Grenada.

“The work and structure that the Jason Roberts Foundation provides for the children truly took me by surprise when I first started volunteering. I was introduced to the organization when they came to Grenada and I was volunteering at the School for Special Needs in St Georges, Grenada.

“After my first experience I stayed in contact with the organization and every time that Jason and Otis came to Grenada I was eager to help out. Through personal hands on education with children and overall structure of programs, paired with the Ambassador program, the foundation provides an amazing experience for the children, volunteers and instructors alike.

“The personal education that the experience has provided for me as well as the children that this foundation impacts directly is immense. My experience through the organization will last with me forever and has provided myself with lifelong friends and a lifelong ally of the organization.”

Disabled people are known as ‘the world’s largest minority’. And it’s not by chance, the cost of living with a disability can increase household poverty, which means disability is not an issue limited to individuals. Exclusion and stigma, low incomes, and high costs of rehabilitation and care, all create a vicious circle that holds back not only individuals with impairments, but their families and children too.

There are several barriers that prevent disadvantaged young people from accessing positive sport related activities; these can range from lack of accessibility, lack of resources, discrimination and stigmatisation, a limit for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

By integrating inclusive sports sessions within our mainstream delivery, we aim to break down some of the barriers and ensure that all young people get the opportunity to participate.

St. George’s University hosts Liverpool Legends

St. George’s University, Grenada last Tuesday hosted the Liverpool Legends at a sumptuous cocktail reception held at Caribbean House on the True Blue Campus.

The gathering provided an opportunity for St. George’s University to thank the Jason Roberts Foundation and in particular the Liverpool Legends for generously donating their time and their talent to a week of activities including a fundraiser and football match between the Liverpool Legends and the Grenada Select XI.  The week of activities were geared towards raising awareness, support and funds of and for the foundations aims of,

“encouraging young people in sporting activity, which will contribute to improving health and fitness, self esteem, confidence and social inclusion; and to participate in learning programmes that will enhance educational achievement.”

Representing the Legends were: Phil Thompson, Bruce Grobbelaar, Rob Jones, Jason McAteer, Gary Gillespie, Mark Wright, Phil Babb, Michael Thomas, John Durnin, Mark Walters,’ Paul Walsh.  On behalf of the foundation were Otis Roberts, CEO of the foundation and Gary Mulcahey, Caribbean Development Manager among others.  From St. George’s University were, Dr. Dennis Paul, Vice Provost for Institutional Advancement, Mr. George McGuire, Associate Dean School of Arts and Sciences and Mr. Trevor Noel, Assistant Director of WINDREF.Dr. Paul took the opportunity to share a little about SGU’s history and the chancellor’s vision. He expressed his hope that the Legends and the Jason Roberts Foundation would “continue the good work they had started here in Grenada”

Mr. George Macguire enthusiastically welcomed and thanked the team for the “sharing their talent with Grenadians” adding that the team members were clearly not yet over the hill and invited them to make repeat visits.

Mr. Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation was effusive in his gratitude on behalf of the Foundation.

“SGU making available buses and accommodation at the University Club over the duration of the trip and hosting a cocktail party at Caribbean House was invaluable in the co-ordination of the Week of Action and helped to make it a huge success.”

He agreed that the relationship between the Foundation and the University started with the Chancellor who on being approached for assistance replied, “you mix the cake and we’ll help you bake it”.    Mr. Roberts continued, “all we’ve ever wanted, we got and more and we are grateful for this strong relationship.”

In a thank you letter to St. George’s University, Mr. Roberts applauded the week of activities as “an outstanding success with the highlight being the match day event” where over 2000 participants attended the game versus The Grenada Select XI.

The university has been a premier supporter of the Jason Roberts Foundation from its inception in 2007 providing support in the form of administration, accommodation, receptions, educational facilities to support programmes run by the foundation, physical practice areas and transportation to name a few.

St. George’s University remains committed in their mission to keep education as their highest purpose, through development of intellectual capacity, creativity and professionalism.  In this regard, an ideal partnership has been forged with the Jason Roberts Foundation which champions community and youth development through education, taking seriously the relationship between healthy bodies and healthy minds.