Making the transition from a professional athlete to a post-playing career can be a daunting challenge. However, the Russell Martin Foundation has taken an approach by employing ex-professional footballers to use their expertise and transferrable skills into the foundation. This decision has not only injected a different aspect into the foundation but has also propelled it to new heights.
Among the ex footballers welcomed into RMF, Chris Whelpdale, who shared the pitch with Russell Martin at Peterborough United, Jay Lovett, Charlie Oatway, and Paul Rogers, each boasting their own rich background in professional football. Additionally, the foundation's beginning was marked by the friendship of ex-professional footballer Sergio Torres and Russell Martin, who recently embarked on a new journey by moving to Mallorca with his family.
One of the great things of incorporating ex-professional footballers into various roles at RMF is the use of transferrable skills they bring. The foundation recognises that the discipline, teamwork, leadership, and dedication used during their playing careers can easily translate into their new working roles.
Chris Whelpdale's role as the Head of Media and Marketing at the Russell Martin Foundation draws upon his ability to craft captivating pictures and videos. Having shared experiences with Russell Martin during their time at Peterborough United, Chris brings a unique insight into the foundation's values.
Jay Lovett, with the role of coaching Head of Post-16 Football has produced significant success, particularly for Varndean College at a national level. A seasoned professional footballer, Jay's on-field experience translates into guiding aspiring young athletes under his wing. His ability to instill resilience, and a winning mentality is a testament to the invaluable mentorship he provides.
Paul Rogers, as a consultant for RMF, orchestrates a vital role in forging partnerships with local businesses. His time as a professional footballer has nurtured a skill for relationship-building, an attribute he now employs to attract sponsors and backers to the foundation. Paul's expertise in navigating the intricacies of the sports industry is invaluable in steering the foundation toward sustainable growth.
Charlie Oatway's role as a Relationship Manager underscores his commitment to community welfare. Drawing on his extensive experience, Charlie works closely with struggling families in the area, offering a helping hand and a sympathetic ear. His unique ability to connect with families enhances the foundation's commitment to community development.
Sergio Torres, an ex-professional footballer, played a pivotal role in the foundation's origins. His friendship with Russell Martin led to the start of the football academy. Over the years, Sergio dedicated his time to coaching and developing young players.
Reflecting on the use of ex-professional footballers into RMF, Alan Sanders (CEO) said, "It is an absolute pleasure to be working with such talented individuals. I know from my days working at Brighton & Charlton what a valuable asset ex-professional footballers can be to the local community in a variety of ways. These individuals, with other staff, have helped to develop a culture at the foundation that I am proud to be a part of’’