Jason Roberts optimistic that his foundation can continue to make great strides at home and abroad
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:25 25 February 2016
Jason Roberts says he is delighted with the progress his foundation has made since its inception nine years ago, and believes it can continue to go from strength to strength.
Roberts, whose uncle, Otis, is the charity’s chief executive, had always had a huge passion to reach out and help the community during his playing days.
Therefore, he had no hesitation in taking the next step and establishing his own foundation – which seeks to support young people, celebrate diversity and promote respect.
Speaking at AtTheMatch’s exclusive event at the Nelson bar in London on Monday night, Roberts discussed the charity, who have bases in Stonebridge and Grenada, the ongoing work they’re doing and his own pathway into football.
He said: “I was very fortunate when I was growing up to have three footballing idols around me in my uncle, Otis, who has always been there for me no matter what, my uncle Cyrille (Regis) who was a fantastic striker, and my uncle Dave (Regis).
“Without their help and guidance I wouldn’t have got to where I am in football nor today, that’s for sure.
“I have seen what kind of impact, especially Otis, has made in the wider community with charity work and that is something I love being involved in, too.
“I was always taught to appreciate what you have got in life and help and guide other people at the same time.
“Even if we only impacted one person’s life through our work in Grenada and the UK I would be happy because you have made a difference to that person’s life.
“The foundation has made some really positive movements in the last few years.
“We recently launched a Hyde Development league, which we hope will develop into one of the best leagues in this country in time.
“Here the young people are given a real opportunity to harness their footballing potential and have a real crack in the hope of getting picked up by a professional club but, if it isn’t to be, it isn’t the end of the world.
“That is where the education element comes into it. The young people involved in the league will have opportunities to do media, refereeing and hospitality placements.
“We are immensely grateful for the support and sponsorship we have had from the likes of Hyde Housing, who we run the league in association with, the Premier League, Sport England and Comic Relief – who have all been critical in the foundation moving forward.”
The retired striker, who played for the likes of Wigan and West Brom during a successful playing career, now resides in Grenada.
He keeps a close eye on the programmes over there, while his uncle, Otis, oversees the foundation work being done in the UK.
The foundation are hosting a celebration dinner on April 9 at the Hilton hotel in Wembley. For more information on this, call Mie Oestergaard on 079473 44602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/jrf-celebration-dinner-tickets-20458782770?ref=estw
Jason was speaking at the AtTheMatch Networking Event, where business and sport meet. Join the sports networking club at http://AtTheMatch.com