The changing face of social enterprise — Birmingham Impact Football Club CIC

Birmingham Impact Football Club CIC is one of Birmingham’s newest community interest companies. With support from iSE’s FUSE enterprise skills programme and incorporated just last month, the enterprise is the brainchild of Zehir Kadra, a professional football scout, qualified coach and passionate advocate for grassroots sport.

Zehir Kadra (Photo: iSE)

The club exists to provide grassroots football opportunities for all children of all abilities who wish to play for fun or competitively in a team. It offers professional football coaching, as well as opportunities to play competitively and attend trials with the PFSA. Its coaches are all UEFA and FA qualified and one is also qualified to coach children with disabilities.

Zehir was inspired to set up his own coaching club as a means of raising the standards of grassroots coaching. “As a football scout,” he explained, “I travelled to many local grassroots clubs to watch my local kids. After seeing the poor standard of coaching and hearing and reading about the limited opportunities available to local kids — an issue being raised repeatedly by both kids and parents — I decided to create my club.”

Since April 2017, Zehir has established two bases — the first at the Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, and the second at the Recreation Park, St Margarets Road, Hodge Hill B8. “We now have over 50 kids registered in total at both bases and the numbers are growing gradually every week,” Zehir says.

“Our social mission,” Zehir says, “is that all children, their parents and the community should benefit. The kids with our help will be provided with life changing opportunities in sport. We’ll also create employment/apprenticeship opportunities for local residents who wish to get in to sport. A number of enquiries by mothers of our students who wish to coach our girls have already been expressed.” 

In these early stages, collaboration and the support of other willing organisations can be vital. Perhaps you have skills, resources or assets that you can make available to the Club? Or maybe your organisation is looking for local partnerships that can help support grassroots sport? Or perhaps you simply have youngsters who are looking for grassroots football opportunities. Whatever the case, keep Birmingham Impact Football Club CIC in mind.

In Zehir Kadra you’ll find a man who is determined to make this idea work. “Just eighteen months ago,” Zehir says, “I was in hospital having stem cell treatment for cancer. Believe me, that was a wake-up call — but it also made me more determined to succeed at what I feel most passionate about: grassroots football opportunities in local communities. Do get in touch if Birmingham Impact Football Club CIC can help you, your kids or those you work with.”

Just eighteen months ago I was in hospital being treated for cancer… It made me more determined to succeed at what I feel most passionate about: grassroots football opportunities in local communities — Zehir Kadra

Zehir is now in the process of applying for the Football Association Charter Standard. Launched in 2001, The FA Charter Standard Programme supported by McDonald’s is The FA’s accreditation scheme for grassroots clubs and leagues. Its goal is to raise standards in grassroots football, support the development of clubs and leagues, and recognise and reward them for their commitment and achievements. Accreditation is awarded to clubs and leagues rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable – and which prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme. We wish him every success.

Mohamed Zehir Kadra, Birmingham Impact Football Club CIC
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Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website
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