Tom Vernon
Founder

"Right to Dream hasn’t even hit 5 percent of its potential. Our vision for giving people a chance to pursue their dreams can be replicated across the world."

 

Tom was just 19 years-old when he decided to set up a youth football team on a dust pitch in Accra, Ghana. Seeing the immense raw talent in just two communities in the capital, it wasn’t long before he took several players into his home, providing education as well as coaching. As Tom steadily grew the academy out of his house into a residential school and coaching facility, he also worked as Manchester United’s scout in Africa, covering 27 countries on the continent. Over the last 18 years, Tom has transformed Right to Dream from a dust pitch to a multi-million dollar purpose-built facility, producing Champions League and World Cup footballers along with student-athletes attending prestigious US schools and universities like Taft and Georgetown. In January 2016, Tom expanded the Right to Dream development model when he led a consortium of investors to acquire Danish Superliga side FC Nordsjælland, forming part of The Right to Dream Group. In recognition of his phenomenal achievements, Tom was voted the world’s leading entrepreneur in sport under the age of 40 by Leaders in Sport in 2016.

Contact: tom@righttodream.com 

Robin Bourne-Taylor
Managing Director

"Right to Dream’s impact as a disruptor in the football and youth development space is extraordinary, and our students are inspiring people the world over to realise their dreams."

 

Robin is responsible for the running of the academy in Ghana, whilst working as part of the senior leadership to expand the impact of Right to Dream’s development model globally. After holding several leadership roles within elite sport, the British Army and International business, Robin joined Right to Dream in March 2016. A former President of the Oxford University Boat Club and three times winner of the University Boat Race, he was part of the British Rowing team at the Athens and Beijing Olympic games. In 2010, he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross by the Queen for his leadership and courage whilst on operations in Afghanistan. Prior to this role, he held CEO positions within the manufacturing and construction industries. Robin holds a Masters in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford, and is currently studying for a Masters in educational Leadership through Nottingham University.

Contact: robin@righttodream.com

Harry Adekpui
Senior School Executive

"Working in a system that instills a sense of community, giveback and a love for one’s country, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children and enable them to fulfil their dreams."

 

Harry plays a crucial role at the academy in Ghana as both the Head of Pastoral Care and the Assistant Head of School, in addition to managing key relationships between Right to Dream Ghana and education partners in the United States. Since joining the organisation over ten years ago, Harry has become a vital part of the senior team, maintaining close relationships with students, their parents and the host families and schools in the US. Harry ensures the safety and welfare of all students - no matter where they are on their Right to Dream journey. An influential leader at the academy, Harry’s multifaceted role makes him a trusted guardian, a tower of support and a guiding influence to every single student. Harry’s exemplary commitment embodies the values of community and helping others that Right to Dream was founded on.

Gareth Henderby
Head of Football

"It’s a real privilege to work with young people and help them develop their skills in football, character and education. Their desire to improve themselves every day is phenomenal."

 

Gareth is in charge of the Football department, responsible for all areas of operations including coaching, analysis, development plans and tour schedules. Gareth has been a part of Right to Dream from its early stages, having joined the academy in Ghana in 2000. A licensed UEFA coach, Gareth spent many years coaching the students as well as providing pastoral and educational support. Over the years, Gareth has overseen numerous elite tournament winning sides, including the prestigious Nike Premier Cup. As the organisation has grown to become a global concern, Gareth now oversees the development and integration of both the academies in Ghana and Denmark. Leading his team, he aims to establish a fully integrated, global football academy that competes with the very best youth sides in the world.

Lucy Mills
Foundation Director & Head of Women's Football

"Our mission to become the number one girls’ academy in the world will not only offer unparalleled experiences on and off the pitch, we will also enable girls to realise their dreams and help others achieve theirs."

 

Lucy oversees the group’s international foundation strategy, responsible for business development and cultivating key relationships across the organisation. The driving force behind developing the girls’ programme, she secured their first European tournament appearances in summer 2017, and is now focused on establishing a girls' academy at FC Nordsjælland. Having first joined Right to Dream as a fresh-faced 19 year-old volunteer football coach, Lucy rejoined in 2016 as Foundation Director, after a decade working in the football for development sector. Lucy’s most notable achievements during this time were working on the 2010 FIFA World Cup official legacy project in 16 African countries and managing the UK branch of Grassroot Soccer, a renowned international NGO that uses football to educate, inspire and mobilise young people to live healthy lives. Lucy's passion for football extends far beyond watching or playing it - it is driven by the impact it can have on the lives of people around the world. She is particularly interested in unlocking the transformative power of the game for girls and young women. Lucy holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town and a BA in International Development from the University of Leeds.

Joe Mulberry
Recruitment Consultant

"I enjoy untangling the puzzle of “talent” and solving the challenges involved in unearthing it."                                                                                                                                                  

Joe consults on all talent identification activity across Right to Dream. Having developed a detailed and rigorous assessment model, Joe pushes implementation standards as a team of scouts travel to some of the harshest environments in the world to discover the very best footballing talent. Covering several countries across West Africa and beyond, Joe is regularly on the road to help the Right to Dream scouts as they assess around 25,000 children annually. Joe originally joined Right to Dream as a volunteer back in 2004 and then established an international scouting network with systems and tools to ensure Right to Dream follows a scientific process to monitor and track the most promising talent. He now continues to help the progression of talent identification processes at Right to Dream. Joe has also worked as a Regional Head Coach for Football New South Wales - identifying and selecting youth players for Australia’s premier elite player pathway programme, Project 22. Adding to his years of talent identification experience, Joe holds a Masters in Coaching Science from the University of the West of England.

Keith Sharpe
Group Head of Character Development

"Right to Dream commits long term to making a sustainable difference in the world, impacting the lives of others, through others"

 

Keith leads on Character Development, which is one of Right to Dream’s most essential pillars. Keith consults on the full integration, design and delivery of character development to help create a culture where staff and students grow and develop their skills. Keith has over 17 years professional experience which includes working in Olympic and professional sport, government and business. Keith has a passion for people development, supporting individuals, teams and organisations to perform at the highest levels. He first visited the academy in 2002, spending time with the first generation of students and delivering a series of workshops. Keith is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and has a postgraduate degree in Elite Performer Development.

Isaac Kwapong
Head of Character Development

“Coming to work at Right to Dream everyday and helping these determined and inspirational student-athletes reach their goals is why I love my job.”

 

Isaac is in charge of an essential facet of the academy in Ghana - the Character Development programme. His key responsibility is the development of the programme and to deliver engaging and interactive character sessions and exercises for students and staff. Isaac also holds one-to-one review sessions with students and manages the academy’s badge system - a motivational tool that ensures students follow Right to Dream’s guiding principles. Isaac has many years experience working in British and American International schools as a Sports Director as well as holding positions as a Student-Athlete Counsellor and School Sports Consultant. A keen basketballer, he was previously Communications Director for the Ghana Basketball Association and is the founder of the not-for-profit Dynasty Basketball Association.

Dr. Bo Green
Head of School & Director of STEM Programme

“Right to Dream is a truly unique youth development organisation. Our world-class educational pathways can create a whole new generation of global leaders.”

 

Dr. Bo Green is an educator with many years experience working in international schools around the world. As Head of School, Bo oversees the teaching body and is also primarily responsible for further developing the academy’s STEM programme. With a background in Mathematics and Physics, his passion and enthusiasm for these key subjects inspires curiosity amongst all of the teachers and students at Right to Dream. Before joining the teaching profession, Dr. Green had a successful career in the business world, holding several senior positions including at the Pepsi Cola company. Bo draws on his previous experiences to integrate real world relevancy into the classroom, ensuring students at Right to Dream develop practical skills for their future endeavours.

King Gyan
Executive Member

“I take a huge amount of pride in being able to inspire some of the world’s future leaders.”

 

King works across several key areas at the academy in Ghana. As well as assisting the Managing Director, he is responsible for the delivery and development of the STEM programme whilst also carrying out football coaching duties and running Stage 3 of our tailored Character Development programme. King is a first generation Right to Dream graduate having joined in 1999, and was one of the first boys to ever earn a scholarship to the United States. A Dunn School alumni, King went on to become a professional footballer and Ghana International, playing for Fulham and other clubs in Belgium, Norway and Sweden. After finishing his playing career, King chose to return to Right to Dream in order to impact the new generation of talented young people at the academy, sharing his knowledge and his own experiences. In his spare time, King enjoys swimming, reading and playing chess.

Christian Wolny
Group Head of Communications

Seeing the incredible commitment and hard work of the young men and women in Right to Dream, following their dreams and giving back to others is truly inspiring.

 

Christian is in charge of spreading the Right to Dream message and vision globally. Overseeing the group’s PR and content strategy, he manages the media departments in the US, Denmark and Ghana. With a brief to share the incredible stories and achievements of Right to Dream’s graduates and students, Christian’s core objective is to enable Right to Dream to inspire and involve people all around the world. With a strong media background, Christian was previously Media Manager at FC Nordsjælland having also held several roles in Danish television as an editor, producer, reporter and commentator. He has also worked for FIFA and UEFA at major tournaments including several World Cups, Euros and Champions League finals. Before joining Right to Dream, he was most recently in charge of communications for Danish giants FC Copenhagen.

Contact: cw@fcn.dk 

Søren Kristensen
CEO at FC Nordsjælland

“Our global vision for the future of Right to Dream and FC Nordsjælland creates infinite possibilities for players, fans and partners alike. With our commitment to giving back to others, we can turn even more dreams into reality.”

 

Søren leads our professional football club, FC Nordsjælland in Farum, Denmark. Whilst overseeing the day-to-day running of an elite sports team, stadium and hotel, Søren’s strategic focus is to tie together opportunities and collaborations across the Right to Dream Group from Denmark to Ghana, the United States and beyond. Having held senior leadership positions for global brands such as Coca-Cola and Nespresso, Søren has a deepened understanding of how to successfully grow a worldwide audience. After over 15 years in the FMCG sector, Søren is excited to now be working within elite sport and development, bringing vast commercial experience in executing a long-term strategy.

Patience Konadu
Finance Manager

“It’s fantastic to be part of a team of great people who are focused on making a difference to people's lives and helping such talented and inspiring children achieve their dreams.”

 

Patience oversees the Finance team, supervising daily transactions, enforcing internal control procedures, reporting, managing external relationships and coordinating the annual budget of the organisation. After joining Right to Dream in late 2016, she has introduced a range of processes and systems to improve daily procedures and identify cost savings and improve efficiency where possible. Patience brings a wealth of experience, having previously worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A Chartered Accountant, Patience holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is currently undertaking an MBA from the University of Warwick Business School.

  

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