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Bobby Kasanga is the founder of London’s leading community football club, Hackney Wick FC. A former gang member, Bobby spent nearly eight years in prison. On his release, he decided to repay his community by establishing the borough’s first ever semi-professional football team.
Hackney Wick FC is not your typical football club. Now comprised of 230 active players across 18 teams, the club’s ethos is based on community engagement and uniting diverse groups as well as battling peer pressure and tackling gang influences. Bobby and Hackney Wick FC engage both young people and adults through training, fitness, community projects and football matches; offering educational workshops, sporting opportunities, mentoring and access to work routes. They work with young people already involved in gangs, those on the brink of falling into gang life and others who might not be aware of the associated risks.
Bobby and Hackney Wick FC want to help young people ‘think outside the blox’ — to look beyond their neighbourhood and dream big.