I started TBY 6 years ago in 2011 whilst working in St Mary’s primary school. I worked with year 5 and year 6 pupils, as a volunteer. In a very boisterous class so full of energy, I found it difficult to assist the teacher in teaching the class. Pupils would not take me seriously, even though I knew most of their parents or older siblings. I knew that the young people came from very disciplined and respectful households. The young people were not achieving their potential levels because of their behaviour, this deeply saddened me. I knew with the willingness to learn the next generation of doctors, teachers, lawyers, firemen and footballers were in these classrooms.
The generation I grew up in respected everyone in the community, especially if they knew your family. I felt I had to find a strategy to assist the young people’s learning. So instead of spending my morning breaks and lunch time in the staff room, I started supervising the pupils when they were playing football. It was evident that they had a lot of love for the game. You could see this by the smiles on their faces, the laughter, the commentary, the team work, the celebrations and the competitiveness. They would sometimes argue about whether it was a goal, foul or who won. At their age it was all about winning I would try and teach them that it is not all about winning it’s all about fun, participating, fair play, sportsmanship and respect. I decided to start refereeing their games.
The pupils started to become interested in what I thought, who I supported and who I played for. As a result the boys started to open up to me and trust me. A whole new level of respect was formed from participating in the game they loved. This made my job easier because when the teacher was trying to teach I could keep the pupils focused and on task. It was also a benefit for the teachers I worked with because they could do their job more easily without low/high level disruptions. But most importantly the children were putting effort into their work. So by earning their trust the children were more comfortable in asking for my help. I felt happy with the progress the young people were making and I felt a part of the young people’s and teacher’s lives. The next question for me was if football could help with their education.
What else could we use football for in order to help the young people in our community. In terms of their social well being, health, communication, expressing themselves and their general pursuit of happiness. The pupils in Our school were really talented footballers, unfortunately, not many of them played for any football teams and they all wanted to.
So I decided to start football training as an extracurricular activity after school on Bute Park. Young people from 5 different schools attended and we provided football training for them 2 nights a week. The young boys enjoyed themselves and this had a positive effect on me. I had a new and bigger purpose in life, helping a young person and making a difference is the best satisfaction I know.
After training these young people for just over a month, other young people who were older wanted the same opportunity for their age groups so I expanded the football club to make this possible. I could not have taken this next step if it wasn’t for like minded young adults volunteering and giving their time up. As soon as I told these positive young adults about my vision they got involved and took it to the next level. They believed in the vision and started to help out with the training sessions. In 2012 I went to the secretary of the Cardiff and district league who has since become a good friend of mine.
He set up a meeting for me and my friend Mohamoud Jama to meet the committee of the league . We went through a process of interviews and thanks to God they accepted us as a new team. Our first ever team consisted of young people from 5 different areas and 4 different schools.
This brought so many different cultures, localities, schools and religions together. We all felt a sense of belonging in our newly formed team. Here at tiger bay our slogan is “We are more than a team we are a family”. We teach our young people but I feel we also learn from our young people.
My roles and responsibilities in our family club is the recruiting of volunteers and making sure that they are good role models, in our ever growing family organisation. Making sure that before any volunteer works with our young people, they fill out a DBS form. This is the most important part.
We use football as a way to assist our young people in making the right choices. This can only be done by bringing in the right people. Secondly, my role is to oversee all volunteers at the club and to try and assist them in any way I can. Whether that is arranging transport on Saturday morning or anything else that I can do.
Although I am the manager of the U14s, I deal with any major disciplinary action in all our teams. Although in all honesty it very rarely results in me having to meet any of our young people because they are very respectful. I deal with fixtures, registering of teams and the signing up of players. Chairing meetings and getting the best out of my colleagues and volunteers.
My name is Mustafa Mohamed. I’m the Vice Chairman/Treasurer and a Football Coach of Tiger Bay Youth. I’m also a University Undergrad studying Human Biology.
I was first involved in Tiger Bay Youth 3 years ago where we was a just a normal football club playing regular football around Cardiff. From then we have slowly transformed into this massive entity where we use football as a tool to educate and empower young people and we have just kept the ball rolling from then.
My main role in the club is to manage the day to day duties of TBY U15s. From washing kit, filling out paperwork to booking transport and arranging fixtures. Being a coach at grassroots level is a very demanding occupation and requires a lot of patience but it’s all worth it when the boys get that massive 3 points.
I am also involved in the day to day runnings of the club and the direction we’re always heading. I’ve set up accounts on 4 social platforms to promote our club and what we do. It’s been very successful and gained a lot of views. This year I’ve launched the TBYTV YouTube account were we managed to get 40 odd subscribers in our first week and hopefully a lot more to come in forthcoming projects.
Alongside all of that I’m a 21 year old lad who grew up in this community. I’m a familiar face so young people tend to come to me for advice on various issues that affect them such as further education, politics, sport, drugs/crime. So not only as a representative of TBY but as a Muslim I feel it’s important to be honest and sincere as possible and give back to the community what it desperately needs. Because TBY is the voice of our community.
I got involved with Tiger Bay Youth (TBD) due to my personal and professional relationship with Ahmed, Mustafa and the coaches. Using my Community development experience and educational background in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown I work as club secretary for the group ensuring all records are kept up to date and orderly. I organise meetings of the parents group, coaches and the management committee and make sure projects are run efficiently and outcomes are met. I also, with the help of the treasurer and chairman, look at new opportunities the youngsters would benefit from.
TBD is a development concern with a difference. We believe every young person is unique. Each person has a genius just waiting to be discovered. We also believe that we have a huge social responsibility to help each young person discover what they can become good at, to nurture them to achieve and to encourage them to take the risk and try something new. We have loads of ideas for our youth, much of which we haven’t even started yet. Our goal is to interact with young people, to offer them choices that they don’t currently have, to show them alternatives and to work with several other groups and agencies in Cardiff to help improve their lives and their futures. Our coaches and parents group work hard to help us achieve our goals.
I believe we can and will go far achieving what we set out to do.