The people behind the foundation

Responsible for the strategy and operations of the organisation.

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Raheem Sterling

Founder

Chris Bird

CEO

Chris is the CEO of Raheem Sterling Foundation which champions further education, employment opportunities and social mobility for young people.

In addition, Chris heads Sports Tours International as their Chief Executive Officer. He is a leader in business and sports, and is widely considered a Media, PR & communications authority.

A top sports tour operator in Europe, his vision for the company is to be recognised as the fastest growing active lifestyle group in the world. Chris is credited for the company’s major milestones and expansion over the years, having grown four-fold since he has been at the helm.

His media career started in 1982, working in commercial radio and regional newspaper sales. Inspirationally, he now holds the position of Executive Chairman for Quest Media Network, owner of the newspaper he delivered as a boy.

After meeting Fred Done, Sports Tours International and Betfred owner, at the 2003 BBC Sports Awards, Chris was offered the position of Media, PR & Development Adviser to Betfred. Four years later, Chris presented an innovative strategy for the future of Sports Tours Int which led to his appointment as CEO.

A PR expert with strong strategic and commercial direction, Chris served as COO of Manchester City, where his negotiations were crucial in securing major commercial and sponsorship agreements that were highly profitable for the club. This includes their swoop into the lucrative Chinese market as a bid to capitalise on defender Jihai Sun’s popularity. Chris joined Manchester City as a freelance PR Consultant before he was appointed as the Chairman’s Assistant. His spectacular rise from freelancer to COO reflects that of the club, climbing from Division 2 to English football’s top tier, the Premier League.

He is the founder and Trustee of The Running Bee Foundation and actively participates in challenges inspiring communities to lead healthy and active lives.

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Clive Ellington

Chair of Trustees

Clive Ellington is the Chair of trustees for the Raheem Sterling’s Foundation, a charity that envisions a world where young people will always have the support, they need in the pursuit of improving their opportunities, their future careers, and their quality of life.

Prior to giving the foundation part of his time, Clive is working full-time as the operations director and scheme manager for two semi-independent providers, assisting over 30 young people as they make their transition into adulthood and independence. Before transitioning into the semi-independent sector, Clive worked as an assistant manager for a fostering agency for 9 years, and as the mentor coordinator for 8 years previous, mentoring males from difficult backgrounds.

Over 30 mentors have been trained by Clive, some of them have founded their own organisations, served as head of years in elementary and secondary schools, or are currently mentoring other young people. He met and mentored a young Raheem Sterling while serving as the mentor coordinator for the Boyz2Men mentorship programme, and the two have remained in touch ever since.

After that, Clive continued his career by working at a fostering agency in North London, where he first held the position of duty and recruitment officer before being promoted to assistant manager. When he joined, Clive and his team were able to transform the organisation into achieving two consecutive “Good” inspections from Ofsted. The organisation became one of the favoured suppliers for several local authorities during his tenure and received the Investors People Award.

Most Saturdays, Clive continues to serve as the head coach of Alpha & Omega CF FC, Raheem’s one and only grassroots football organisation. He also serves as the club’s chair. The team has a history of producing footballers who have been given the chance to compete at the top level.

Abdi Farah

Trustee

Abdi Farah has worked in the youth and community sector for over 20 years to provide diversionary provisions to enable young people to make better life decisions, using sport, enterprise, and youth work.

Abdi has served as a trustee for local and regional organisations for the past 10 years to provide insight into youth engagement, sports development and community cohesion.

Abdi is a Brent resident and passionate about the Borough, he is well known for football development and has played a role in talent development as a football consultant.

In his spare time Abdi likes to travel and volunteer.

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