Ahead of our Black History Month celebration event tomorrow (Wednesday 18th October), in partnership with Football Beyond Borders, we are proud to announce our host, panellist and keynote speaker for the event.
Debra Nelson (Football Beyond Borders)
Debra Nelson started as a Football Beyond Borders participant and has now grown to a passionate practitioner and presenter in women’s football, driven by her love of the game. She discovered her passion at the age of eight during the 2010 World Cup, a spark that ignited her lifelong passion.
Debra has collaborated with key stakeholders in women’s football to champion equal opportunities and accessibility for girls in the sport. Her commitment is deeply personal, rooted in gratitude for the doors football has opened for her and the essential skills it has instilled. Debra strives to share the transformative power of football with girls worldwide, making a difference one step at a time.
Mayram (The Powerhouse Project)
Maryam has been a part of Football Beyond Borders for the last 3 years. She is currently in Year 10 and working towards her GCSEs. Maryam has been a key member of her FBB and school team, confidently stepping into leadership roles in recent months. For Maryam, football is a space where she feels valued. She has developed her communication skills to effectively articulate her thoughts and feelings, both on the pitch and around school.
Maryam came on The Next Ones Up: A Step into Coaching created between The Powerhouse Project, the FA and NIKE in August this year. She engaged in the workshops, pushing herself to develop her leadership and coaching skills. She’s developed her passion for football as she came through her journey in FBB and evolved in The Next Ones Up.
As Maryam returned to school in September, she said, "In the summer, Mum and I watched lots of the WWC over the summer, and Mum feels like there actually is a future for women in football, so I'm finally playing for a club, which is so fun.
Anita Abayomi (Freelance Broadcaster & Writer)
An experienced freelance broadcaster, writer, content creator, presenter and event host. Anita works hard to bridge the gap between conventional sport lovers and the new generation.
She has an extensive in-depth football knowledge to the highest degree, as well as an expertise F1 background, in which she has a huge passion for the sport.
Anita is extremely confident in interviewing high-profile sportsmen and women in various settings, and her main strength is allowing the guest talent to feel comfortable and relaxed.
She regularly hosts and presents various shows for brands and businesses such as Chelsea FC, SportBible and BoxPark to name a few.
Working to script for TV production companies such as Sky Sports, ESPN, Premier League, ITV and BBC, Anita works extremely well under pressure with improvisation. Previous brand collaboration experience includes the likes of Nike, Adidas, Puma, Sports Direct, EA Sports, MLB Europe, Fanatics, Arsenal FC, Copa 90, New Balance and so much more.
Billy Grant (Barnet Panthers Founder)
Billy Grant has been watching matches from the stand for over 30 years for his team Brentford FC. He is known for his activism and diversity work in the game, as a podcaster, blogger, and a football mini-documentary maker.
Billy is on both the Board and National Council for the Football Supporters Association, campaigning for decades on issues of racism and diversity in football, working closely with organisations including Kick It Out, The FA, Brentford FC, Channel 5 and Sky Sports. He has worked tirelessly to make football a sport in which people, especially young girls, can watch football in a safe and fun environment. Billy has also been voted onto the Football Blacklist for his work in Grassroots and Community.
After coaching at a grassroots club for a few years, last year Billy set up a girl’s football club, Barnet Panthers, with his colleague. The club was founded based on providing a safe, supportive, fun, and nurturing environment for girls to play and enjoy football and enable their development both on and off the pitch. Since they were founded, the club has had over sixty girls train and play for them, seen two players accepted in ETC’s, six players accepted into Development Centres, become England Football Accredited and now have four teams playing in three leagues across London and Hertfordshire.
Mina Ibrahim (Writer, Presenter & Content Creator)
Mina Ibrahim is a freelance writer, presenter, and content creator in the world of football. Having started out on a football podcast, Mina slowly transitioned to writing and presenting - recently covering the Qatar World Cup for The Athletic and has worked with the likes of Sky Sports News, Versus, BBC Radio, Football Daily and more. Mina’s passion for content and the sport comes from her childhood roots, growing up in a Northwest London estate that was football crazy, she combined her love for the sport and her love of content creation. Mina also covers Manchester United Women for a global YouTube channel with over 150k subscribers, with a commitment to breaking barriers in the industry for women, ethnic minorities, and those of different faiths.
Since entering the scene, Mina has interviewed football players such as Arnaut Danjuma, Papiss Cisse, Michael Keane, Ilias Chair and many more. Through that, Mina has been able to use storytelling to engage audiences, resulting in multiple viral articles.
We look forward to welcoming members of the London FA football community to Wembley on the 18th October to celebrate and be inspired by some very talented individuals.