Meet the 12 Game Changers who Kick It Out are helping to become the future leaders of football.


Name: Natasha Buckland 

Bio: "I am a 22-year-old Sport, PE and Coaching Science Graduate from the University of Birmingham. I have always had an interest in football, I played for my local team and proceeded to manage the Under-10 team at 15. Volunteering and leadership has always been a passion of mine; to give something back and develop others using sport as a platform.

"I have held numerous voluntary roles, including senior roles on both BBFA and BCFA Youth Councils, Lead of Learning and Development for BUCS Student Management Group and UoB Football Activator. I was fortunate to be recognised in 2016, receiving both the National Football Futures Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year Award and the Victoria Wesley Award (Outstanding Voluntary Contribution to Sport at UoB). I have progressed on to gain both my UEFA B and FA Youth Award and I am looking forward to now starting my next chapter.


Name: Sophie Cowell

Bio: "After graduating with a Law degree in 2015, I began a PhD in Discrimination Law with the Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity, that sits within the University of Chester Law School. My PhD considers the use of positive action within football coaching and ways in which this can be used to increase the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic football coaches. Alongside my PhD, I lecture on a number of Law modules.

"In 2016 I was delighted to join A.S.P.I.R.E., Kick It Out’s group for young people, and have enjoyed working with A.S.P.I.R.E. in advising Kick It Out on how to promote the message of equality in football and society. I am an Everton fan, going into my ninth year as a season ticket holder. I am delighted to be part of Game Changers and I am really looking forward to the next 12 months."


Name: James Coulbeck

Bio: "Graduate in Sports Development and Coaching, currently coaching within a Football League Academy. Fortunate enough to have coached in different countries working with a diverse range of players.

"I am always seeking new learning opportunities to grow, progress and develop across all aspects of the football industry. Extremely passionate about improving footballing experiences for all participants, from all backgrounds."


Name: Tosin Gbaja

Bio: "I graduated in 2016, with a 2:1 in business and sports management and my interests include athletics, television and reading journal articles.

"I am looking forward to getting some inspiration, information and support with the Game Changers programme. I hope to achieve the right skills to push me into solving the crossroad I am at career-wise, and I hope the programme will be a useful support system to help me do that."


Name: Sonali Gupta 

Bio: "I have always had a passion for football, growing up I played for many local football teams before going on to play for Tranmere Rovers Girls U16. I then suffered an injury which restricted me from playing so I started coaching a girls football team, who I have now been with for three years.

"To further enhance my coaching development, I am currently on my FA Level 2 course. In addition to grassroots coaching I am also employed by Little Kickers coaching children from the age of 18 months to 7 years. Alongside coaching football I am currently studying Psychology (BSc) at university. I am delighted to be a part of the Game Changers programme and cannot wait to find out what the next 12 months will bring."


Name: Ceylon Hickman

Bio: "Having graduated last summer with a degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, I've been working in football since September and started at The FA's Further Education partner, AoC Sport. I've since moved to the education charity, Football Beyond Borders where I'm Head of Volunteering and Social Action.

"At FBB we use football to create a more equal and inclusive society in which young people from low income backgrounds have the opportunity to develop the skills, attitude and character to succeed in education, work and public life. I see football as an incredibly powerful vehicle for driving social change and throughout my short time in the industry, I've learnt how driving this change is extremely dependent on the people with the influence and responsibility to instigate it.

"That's why I applied to be a Gamechanger: I'm eager to learn the ropes within decision-making level and apply this knowledge to elevate the voices and experiences of historically marginalised groups within football." 


Name: Roya Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy

Bio: "I am 19-years-old, currently studying Sport Development BA (Hons) at Leeds Beckett University. I am an extremely motivated individual constantly trying to make positive changes to young people's lives and to the world! Football is a huge passion of mine and I currently coach in primary schools and at Horsforth St Margaret's Girls FC.

"I am also a part of Derbyshire County FA's Young Leader Management Team, where we look to give young people a voice in the community and create wider opportunities in football. My other passion is Tae Kwon-do, which I have done since the age of six and am now a third degree black belt and the North Midlands Champion."


Name: Oli Moore 

Bio: "I am privileged to be involved in football in various positions, from Inclusion Advisory Group member and Youth Forum Chairperson at Surrey FA to FA National Youth Council. I am fortunate to be able to regularly engage with a large and diverse network at a local, county and national level through these roles and I am looking forward to making a difference by sharing my learnings from this programme.

"Being a Game Changer provides me with a unique development opportunity, learning from a diverse group of likeminded people with a range of experiences and skill-sets but similar passions."


Name: Francis Osinloye

Bio: "I'm a broadcast journalist, youth worker and freelance voice-over artist. My interest in broadcasting stems from a keen will to create content which I believe will engage, inform, and inspire an audience and also raise awareness on societal issues. I take great pride in assisting and bettering the lives of other people using my skillsets and growing experience. 

"For a number of years, I have worked very closely with a charity where we use various events and activities to steer the lives of some of London's less privileged children in a brighter direction.

"Being a voice over artist gives me the unique pleasure of using my talent and voice to work on various projects around the world. I have been able to work on documentary narrations, short films, commercials, animated characters, various other creative arts."


Name: Ammarah Pandor

Bio: "My passion for this industry boosted a few years ago when I discovered the possibility of combining both football and psychology. In my spare time, I coach football in my local community, engaging over 30 young people of a BAME background weekly. I also take part in recreational five aside football and competitive 11 aside.

"My previous experience working to promote equality and diversity includes my membership with Kick It Out’s youth group, A.S.P.I.R.E., volunteering with the Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation (MWSF) and planning community events. These opportunities have been a great way of taking steps towards making the game more inclusive and I’m looking forward to exploring this further as a Game Changer!" 


Name: Karan Rai

Bio: "I am about to embark on a two-year leadership development programme as a prison officer at HMP Aylesbury with 'Unlocked', an organisation which focuses on rehabilitation and reducing the costs of re-offending. I will also combine this with a Master's Degree from the University of Suffolk and will have the chance to write and present a policy paper to the Secretary of State. 

"I have worked on improving equality, diversity and inclusion in football as a Youth Ambassador for Kick It Out's ASPIRE group and as a member of the Herefordshire FA's Inclusion & Advisory Group. I have a passion for teaching and has taught in Hungary, China, Morocco and Ghana. Karan's alma mater includes the University of Warwick, UCFB Wembley Stadium and the Real Madrid Graduate School. I am also a huge supporter of Hereford FC and the Panjab FA having grown up in Herefordshire and having Panjabi heritage."


Name: Louie Silvani

Bio: "I am a student at Southampton Solent currently on the MA Youth Sport and Physical Education course, having previously graduated with a BA Football Studies degree. I am hugely passion about equality and diversity, and have been the co-chair of Kick It Out’s Youth Advisory group, ASPIRE, for over two years now! This has given me a fantastic insight into this area of football, engaging with Kick It Out’s work and promoting anti-discrimination and inclusion, but also developed my confidence and leadership skills.

"My other passion within football is coaching. I have coached with multiple grassroots clubs in London and Southampton, and also coach for Chelsea Foundation and their academy development centres. I am currently on the UEFA B course for the 2017-18 season, which I hope to complete this summer!"