JRF’s I2A Heritage Exhibition at Harlesden Library

12 former professional footballers from Harlesden

Next week sees the launch of the Jason Roberts Foundation’s (JRF) Inspire to Achieve (I2A) legacy exhibition programme at Harlesden Library, supported by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and Brent Council.

The Exhibition will launch on Saturday 10th February from 12:00 – 4:00 pm and will continue to be showcased until the June 2024, and will celebrate the rich footballing heritage of Harlesden focusing on a dozen former professional footballers who grew up in Harlesden playing in local parks, attending local schools, and who graced stadiums Nationally and Internationally.

The launch day will welcome special guests including the Stein brothers and former striker Dave Regis who all took part in JRF’s Inspire to Achieve Heritage project, and assistant coach to the England National Team Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. There will also be a ‘Match of the Day’ performance by a local dance company, Hillside Performing Arts.

The Exhibition is a legacy of JRF’s I2A project which was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, and will give local schools an opportunity to educate students on homegrown sporting heritage which is bound to appeal to budding footballers and keen fans.

The JRF Team are grateful to and hope to develop a closer relationship with Harlesden Library, working with Manager Noman Ali and Brent Museum and Archives working with Heritage Collections and Exhibitions Manager Colin Chester, Heritage Service Officer Rebecca Thompson, and Learning Officer Jana Cameron, to encourage young people who don’t currently use the library, to access their services and resources.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said; “We are delighted to have the chance to extend the I2A Heritage project by showcasing our Exhibition at Harlesden Library. The public venue will provide an ideal opportunity for the local community to learn more about the dozen footballing icons who grew up as their neighbours, and who continue to have a positive impact on the community. We look forward to working with Harlesden Library and Brent Museums and Archives on this and other cultural and heritage projects.”

About Harlesden Library:

Harlesden Library is situated at 49A Craven Park Rd, London NW10 8SE and is open from 10:30 – 6:00 pm weekdays, 10:30 – 5:00 pm on Saturdays, and 12:00 – 5:00 pm on Sundays. Local residents can access the library to borrow books, search the e-library, book a computer and study space, or enjoy a range of activities for all ages. For more information about local Libraries in Brent visit

Real Talk takes on Football Coaching

Budding Football Coaches receive training on the pitch

On the afternoon of Sunday 3rd December, JRF hosted a Community Coaches continued professional development event on Observation, as part of the new ‘Real Talk’ programme, incorporating the Stonebridge Huddle.

Thirty budding football coaches attended the session hosted by the FA Coach Development (Diversity & Inclusion) Team and benefited from first-hand knowledge from former professional footballers Zesh Rehman, Jerome Thomas, and Jamal Campbell Ryce who all hold roles in the game since retiring.

The former players gave valuable insight and top tips on subjects including coaching, recruitment, and progression within the game as well as information on networking and providing pathways for the next generation.

Many of the young people who took part signed up for ongoing mentoring with the FA who are striving to provide more coaching education and courses that are accessible to the local community.

This is the third Community Coaches course hosted by JRF over the last three months as the level of interest and interaction from future coaches continues in their quest for continued professional development in this field.

Peter Augustine, Coach Development Officer at the FA said.

“Today’s event showed the appetite for coaches’ education. The idea of these events is to give coaches access to Official FA CPD at a time and place that suits them. Having ex professionals who understand the coaches and who can share their stories, gives the coaches inspiration and a deeper knowledge of what they need to do to be successful.”

Thanks to funding from Young Brent Foundation’s One Flow One Brent, Wembley National Stadium Trust, the Hyde Foundation, and the FA, young up-and-coming football coaches are being offered some ‘Real Talk’ on what it takes to follow a career into the beautiful game.

Real Talk at Alperton Community School

One Flow One Brent Logo

Last week the JRF Team took ‘Real Talk’ on the road when they attended a Careers Fair organised by Alperton Community School in Wembley.

The ‘Real Talk’ Careers Talks form part of JRF’s ‘Passport to Success’ programme which has recently received further funding from Young Brent Foundation and One Flow One Brent, following the success of the first phase of the programme from 2022 to 2023.

The school hosted a wide variety of organisations and businesses including the Jason Roberts Foundation, to provide students with information on careers, training, Apprenticeships, and volunteering opportunities for a wide range of industries, to spark interest in the young people attending.

Career aspirations varied greatly from over 200 young people present, with many who showed interest in a wealth of industries including engineering, health, interior design, architecture, as well as sport.

For eighteen of the young people aspiring for a career in the sports industry, they were invited to attend the Community Coaches continued professional development course hosted by JRF at Bridgestone Arena. The training programme offered the opportunity to learn more about the profession from experts in their field, including three former professional footballers; Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Emile Heskey, and Zesh Rehman.

For these lucky eighteen and all the other young people who spoke to the JRF team at the Alperton School Careers Event, they will be invited to future ‘Real Talk’ sessions hosted by JRF through their ‘Passport to Success’ Programme.


If you are interested in attending a ‘Real Talk’ session or if you are a business/organisation that would be prepared to deliver a Careers Talk for young people in Brent, please contact

Caribbean over 50’s Team triumphant at Winter Nations Cup

Walking Football Caribbean over 50's team celebrate

Walking Football Caribbean over 50’s Team triumphant at Winter Nations Cup Walking Football Tournament – Cardiff, Wales.

Team Caribbean participated in their second major tournament this year and were represented by two teams at over 50s and 60s levels, which makes the achievement even more notable as many of the other nations have been playing for years.

The Caribbean teams travelled up on Friday, 1st December and the tournament took part place on Saturday, 2nd December at the University of South Wales, Cardiff, Wales, in absolutely freezing conditions.

Braving the wintry conditions, the tournament got underway with the over 60’s team narrowly losing their first two games against England and Sweden, putting up good performances against Wales, but it wasn’t quite enough to progress.

The over 50’s were undoubtedly the outstanding team of the whole competition dropping just two points in their 1-1 draw with Sweden, 3-1 win against tournament favourites England, 4-0 win against Australia and 2-0 win against host country Wales. This over 50’s team across two tournaments have not been beaten in open play. Their only loss coming by way of penalties in the quarter final of the World Cup of Nations 2023. They have succeeded in putting the Caribbean as one of the world’s formidable forces in this fast-growing sport.

Kenny Dyer was the tournament top goal scorer with five goals and Mark Taylor, 50’s captain was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

The Caribbean Islands were well represented by players in the UK diaspora originating from Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

Speaking on behalf of the Walking Football Caribbean Management Team, Mike Adams, Head Coach said,

“We knew we were capable of this, and it has come incredibly early in our development. We have a flare and an energy that truly reflects our people and the Islands we originate from. Like the great West Indies cricket teams, we have come together to do battle and give us visibility in a sport where we are more than competitive, we’re the benchmark. The camaraderie has been there from the outset, and we can’t wait to spread this message to our community, here in the UK, the diaspora and at home in the Caribbean.”

The event was very well organised with nineteen nations taking part from across the globe. The health benefits and messages this sends cannot be overstated. The Caribbean 60’s had a 70-years young, Mike Stafford bringing his youthful energy which was infectious.

The playing of the National Anthems and greetings was particularly uplifting. As the Caribbean was multiple nations, a version of David Rudder’s ‘Rally Round the Flag’ was played.

The Caribbean Teams are most definitely the new kids on the block at Nations level of walking football and have already made big statements. Growing the game in the Caribbean Community amongst 40, 50, 60 and 70 somethings, both male and female is the goal. The physical, mental, and social health benefits are enormous, and Walking Football Caribbean want to champion that from the front. This is just the beginning.

Better Health at BOXPARK Wembley

A crowd on their feet dancing and clapping

On the evening of Monday 16th of October over 250 guests from the local Brent community headed to BOXPARK Wembley for JRF’s Better Health & Wellbeing Event. 

The last time the JRF Team hosted an event at the popular venue was for their Inspire to Achieve Heritage Project in 2022 when Paul Merson, one of the celebrated footballers, took to the stage and opened up to the audience about his mental health battles.

This time local brent residents shared personal and touching stories about their health journeys which included mental health, the menopause, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and Sickle cell.

Supported by Quintain Services, Brent Health Matters, and Wembley National Stadium Trust, the Better Health & Wellbeing event marked a series of local initiatives delivered by the JRF Team for the benefit of the community that has physical activity, health, and social interaction for all ages at its heart.

The Brent Health Matters and Public Health Teams were on hand to offer health checks and screenings whilst the audience were treated to a wonderful live performance by Grammy award winner singer Junior Giscombe, who belted out hits such as ‘Mamma used to say’ much to the delight of the crowd.

Cherrelle Amo from Hillside Performing Arts was on hand to warm up he eager crowd with a dance routine, before taking to the stage with some of her elder participants who have enjoyed online armchair aerobics with Cherrelle during and since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nine Forbes and his Run Club were also out in full force and shared some of the stories that make the ever-growing group a family.

John Licorish and June Farquharson spoke about tackling health inequalities and promoted the Man and Van Prostate service currently in Brent.

Mayor of Brent, Cllr Orleen Hylton and ex-Gogglebox star Sandra popped in to take park in the activities on offer, as the health checks continued until 10pm.

With health information and screenings, wellbeing, exercise, music, refreshments, and entertainment available, who says Monday nights are boring!

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said; “Our communities are taking health very seriously and as a charity that puts community first, we do what we can to support them in their quest. We would like to say a big thank you to Quintain – Wembley Park, Brent Health Matters, and Wembley National Stadium Trust for supporting this event, and helping us to bring communities together and engage with the more isolated and marginalised residents.” 

JRF Partners with the Us Charitable Trust

Students talking to JRF coach at Careers Fair

The Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) recently partnered with the Us Charitable Trust ( to run a stall at two Careers Fairs organized by the Trust.

The first event on the 10th October was held at Newman Catholic College ( where Pupils from Year 7 to the 6th form had an opportunity to speak to JRF CEO Otis Roberts and one of their sports coaches, Nine Forbes, as well as local Colleges, the Army, the Police, and other organisations, in their quest for different higher education and career pathways.

The students were given challenges and questions to ask the organisations in attendance, to help build their confidence and communication skills.

It was a homecoming for former student Otis Roberts who attended the school previously called Cardinal Hinsley.

The next Careers Fair was held on the 18th October at Neasden based Crest Academy ( where JRF joined other organisations to offer pupils career pathway options and advice.

The students expressed interest in a variety of careers from medicine, engineering, and media.

The JRF team took along a replica World Cup trophy which attracted aspiring young footballers who hope to one day get their hands on the real thing.

Several students showed interest in the variety of volunteering roles available at JRF and the team will follow up on these enquiries over the next few weeks.

JRF would like to thank Janet Macleod, Development Director at the Us Charitable Trust for inviting them to partner at the two Career Fairs along with the other organsations in attendance, as well as staff and teachers at both schools for accommodating the events and giving their students a chance to get first-hand information on some of the career opportunities available to them.

The Us Charitable Trust exists to mobilise marginalised young people through the development of transferable life skills and cultural and social capital; equipping them with the confidence and freedom to fulfil their dreams and secure a bright and meaningful future.

For more information visit

JRF collaborate with Stonebridge organisations

Coaching session for Community Sports Coaches

On Sunday 17th September the JRF Team hosted the ‘Stonebridge Huddle’ at Bridgestone Arena. This collective group of local organisations have formed the ‘Stonebridge Huddle’ to collaborate and share resources for the benefit of the local community.

JRF, Connect Stars, and Hilltop Circle joined forces with Ultra Education and Hillside Performing Arts to provide activities, services, and volunteers that the local community can access.

The Football Association (FA) provided a Coaching Pathways session for men and women who have faced challenges on progressing in the coaching world.

Many young people enjoyed the sports activities on offer including tennis, football, and table tennis before taking part in a workshop for budding entrepreneurs on how young people can start a business.

The Nine Run Club delivered an exercise programme whilst promoting their sessions, and all of the organisations that make up the ‘Stonebridge Huddle’ co-designed a programme of activities for local young people.

Hilltop Ladies played a thrilling football match versus East London followed by coaching advice and refreshments for over 300 people who took part in the day.

For more information regarding these organisations visit:


Connect Stars –

Hilltop Circle –

Ultra Education –

Hillside Performing Arts –

Brazil Community Event a Success

Brazilian Community Dancing together

On Sunday 10th September the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) hosted the Brent Brazilian Community Day at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 where over 1500 people from the local Brazilian community attended.

A host of partners including JRF, Brent Council, Brent Health Matters, and the Brent Brazilian Community, came together to deliver the hugely popular event.

The free to attend event offered a wide range of activities and services to cater for everyone in attendance. From the Kids Zone with sports activities, face painting, and a bouncy castle for children to enjoy, alongside a football tournament, health checks by the Clinical Team from Brent Health Matters, as well as other local services including Housing information, Employment and Training opportunities, and Housing Advice.

All of this was delivered to a backdrop of traditional Brazilian food and drink, and music was provided by DJs and live performances, adding a carnival atmosphere to the summer day.

The Ambassador of Brazil was in attendance and mingled with the crowd as the festivities went on into the evening.

Ederson Tomasoni who helped to organise the event said, “We are extremely proud to have worked in partnership with JRF and Brent Council to bring this event to life. The local Brazilian community are delighted that they were able to connect with each other socially, access Brent services and have the opportunity to showcase our culture locally.”

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said; “Brent being the most culturally diverse Borough in the country has a big Brazilian community. It was lovely to see how they have immersed themselves locally and how they brought a togetherness and family spirit to this event. We very much look forward to the next one.”

Watch it Live! FIWFA 2023 Walking Football World Nations Cup

Walking Football Caribbean Logo


The Federation of International Walking Football Associations (FIWFA) will be staging their inaugural Walking Football World Nations Cup, August 24 – 26 in Derby at St George’s Park, the FA’s national training centre in Staffordshire, England.
At short notice, the Caribbean have entered 2 teams, one in the over 50’s and the other in the over 60’s categories.

The tournament will have sixteen countries competing in the over 50 category and twelve countries in the over 60’s. The Caribbean will be entering a team in each category of the 6-a-side tournament and due to the short notice have had to select their team from first generation players in the Caribbean diaspora that reside predominantly in the United Kingdom. The twenty-four players chosen—12 each squad—have roots from a good spread of the English-speaking Caribbean. It is the ‘Walking Football Caribbean’s’ intention to use this competition as a platform to fully promote the participation of this sport throughout the Caribbean in what has become a global phenomenon since walking footballs inception in the United Kingdom, approximately a decade ago.

In the over 60 category the Caribbean team will be playing in Group B against Northern Ireland, Italy, Australia, Wales, and the Czech Republic. Group A will be competing against hosts England, France, Basque Country, South Korea, Japan, and Canada.

In the Over 50 category the Caribbean team will play in Group B alongside Italy, Basque Country, Nigeria, Singapore, Jersey, Georgia, and Japan. Meanwhile, Group A will be competing against  England, Rwanda, Czech Republic, Egypt, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Wales, and Australia.

The challenge ahead may on paper seem daunting for our region. However, we can take our lead from the great West Indies cricket teams of the past and unbelievably, we do have an enviable track record that means we have to be taken very seriously. The club team ‘Pele’s Pearls’ a Caribbean Walking Football Club from the Midlands, UK represented England in a previous world championship and won. Several of these players are in both squads. So, we go into the competition with high expectations and certainly not as underdogs.

Walking Football Caribbean would like to acknowledge a heartfelt thank you to our sponsor Theo Burnett, Golden Krust franchise holder and Foundation Member (Atlanta) and our collaborating partner and aligned charity, the Jason Roberts Foundation who share our vision to see the game played wherever there are people of Caribbean origin for the health benefits that can experienced.

To follow our teams progress in the competition and to find out more about ‘Walking Football Caribbean’ please visit we look forward to you dropping by.

To watch live coverage of the tournament:

The Recast FIWFA channel, the home of International Walking Football,
can be found at:

CARRIBEAN WORLD CUP FIXTURES official schedule below.

Thursday, 24th Aug, 11:30AM – versus Jersey
Thursday, 24th Aug, 16:30PM – versus Nigeria
Thursday, 24th Aug, 17:20PM – versus Basque Country (Spain)

Friday, 25th Aug, 08:30AM – versus Singapore
Friday, 25th Aug, 14:20PM – versus Japan
Friday, 25th Aug, 16:00PM – versus Italy

Thursday, 24th Aug, 09:00AM – versus Italy
Thursday, 24th Aug, 14:00PM – versus Australia
Thursday, 24th Aug, 15:40PM – versus Czech Republic

Friday, 25th Aug, 15:10PM – versus Northern Ireland
Friday, 25th Aug, 16:50PM – versus Wales

Stay active, stay healthy.

Howzat! Bakkavor Meals raise more money for JRF

Winning cricket team hold up trophy in celebration while others applaud.

On Sunday 14th August Bakkavor Meals London, a local food Company returned to Bridgestone Arena for their third annual community day of Sports, Games, Activities, and Refreshments, to raise funds for the Jason Roberts Foundation.

The Fundraising Event organised by Bakkavor’s HR Team, followed the success of the T10 Cricket Event last year that raised over £2600 for JRF, and saw staff, teams, families, and volunteers come together, in a day that included a Cricket and Football Tournament, with teams from across the Bakkavor Meals organisation, as well as a range of activities for the children including face painting, and a fundraising Raffle with some amazing donated prizes.

With some unbelievable performances in the Cricket that kept the crowd captivated, and brilliant displays of teamwork and camaraderie, the weather held out until the end despite an early threat of rain stopping play. The winning team Cumberland, who managed to dethrone Bakkavor’s  Abbeydale site walked away with the trophy and shield, with other teams and individual performances awarded with medals.

Local former Heritage footballers Richard Langley and Mark Stein were on hand to referee and take part in the activities on the day, that was ably managed by a team of JRF Youth Volunteers.

With donations from across the Bakkavor Meals family along with the fundraising initiatives on the day, this year’s donation to JRF topped the previous 2-years with nearly £5000 being raised.

Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager for JRF said; “We are so grateful for our partnership with Bakkavor Meals London. Their annual events hosted at Bridgestone Arena go from strength to strength, and the family ethos of the business shows in the unity and teamwork that was so apparent on the day. The amazing amount they raised will go a long way in enabling us to continue supporting the local community to access sports provision.”

Luke Burgham, SHRBP said of the day.

“Every year this event goes from strength to strength. From what started as a small event 3 years ago, continues to evolve into a more key catching event every year. With over 400 people attending this year all helping raise money for a great local charity.

We are extremely proud to continue working with the Jason Roberts Foundation and putting on a spectacular cricket event every year. We’ve made some great foundations to partner together in making this event a success and we look forward to the joint participation every year.”

For more information regarding Bakkavor Meals London visit