This Is My Playbook
Run in the Sun: Simon Dent - A champion of challenge fundraising
Simon Dent is a self-confessed sports nut. His fondest memories growing up all like to sport and he took that into his adult life and career, firstly as a lawyer and sports agent and then as founder of the successful Dark Horses creative agency, which specialised in working across the sports industry and to the current day job - as founder of HERO Talent agency, representing elite sports professionals and broadcasters. He's been a friend of Greenhouse for more than 15 years, firstly as a volunteer football coach and now as a champion fundraiser as an obsessive ultra-runner. He's completed two huge challenges raising funds for Greenhouse with rugby league legend Jamie Peacock - a 50 miles loop of London in 2021, doubled to 100 miles in 2022, to this year when in a month he takes on the Marathon des Sables, one of the toughest foot races in the world, 7 days across the desert to complete a 250km run. When asked what motivates him, he says he is 'goal-oriented' but more notably and openly, having had a very tough period in his life suffering with debilitatiing mental health challenges he says: 'I was at the lowest ebb I could possibly be.. so after that experience, in some ways the Marathon des Sables is a walk in the park. Nothing will ever be as hard as that.. The Marathon des Sables attracts people who have had similar experiences.. whereby we've been to dark places.. once you've been to a certain place, there's not much else that can knock you over.'
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3. Salad Days - the remarkable story of Tossed26:05In this episode Simon speaks with Angelina Harrison, the Brand Director at Tossed, the healthy high street food chain, the Marylebone-based business that has been supporting Greenhouse Sports since 2019. In 2020, in the onslaught of the pandemic and lockdowns and the challenges of keeping a fresh food service business operating during the forced absence of customers, the company sadly went into administration. Undeterred, Angelina and her Managing Director Neil Sebba worked to acquire the company and successfully re-launched, all the while while maintaining their support for Greenhouse Sports as their Official Charity.In 2023 the company has made enormous progress, Tossed now has 12 London branches, stretching from Paddington to Broadgate, and for more than a year has run a scheme where every sale of their ‘Superfood Salad’ across those branches and their delivery service, 50p is donated directly to the charity In this podcast Angelina talks of the challenges of that time and how they maintained the resilience to build back the business all the while maintaining the values of a purpose-driven business that underpins Tossed partnership with Greenhouse as well as the company philosophy ‘Food to Make you Feel Good.
51% Mentor, 49% Coach - Mike de Giorgio and the magic of Greenhouse37:38In this episode Simon reunites Greenhouse Founder Mike de Giorgio and former police officer David Simms . In 2002 they were introduced to each other in Mke's neighbourhood and Dave's beat in South West London, and their lives changed. Both were looking from different viewpoints into the problem of youth anti-social behaviour and what to do about it. Hitting upon the idea of providing free football sessions for the local youth that Dave was trying to engage, they enlisted the support of St Paul's private school, opening up the gates of their immacu playing fields to the local community during the summer holidays. What started with a bag of balls and two men with a passion and a conviction to address the lack of opportunity for young boys and girls on some of the estates in west London, grew into a charithy that has now supported and helped develop more than 50,000 young people through the power of sports coaching and mentoring.
4. Lulama and The Hardest Conversation - Speaking with young people about Race31:23The first women of colour to represent Italy in Volleyball, Lulama Musti di Gennaro is Greenhouse's inspirational Head Volleyball Coach.She tells This Is My Playbook that her rise to the pinnacle of her sport in her home country was a bittersweet journey - A mixed race girl born to a white Italian father and a black Mozambiquan mother, she grew up in Rome where she says 'no-one looked like me'. A survivor, like many of the women in high-performance volleyball, of an abusive coach, she excelled in professional volleyball being called up to the national team and enjoyed a happy successful career, marred only by her non-selection for the 2012 Olympics. She had walked away from her sport until a chance invitation to a coaching session for kids rekindled the fire: 'Working with these kids made me realise that I still loved Volleyball'. She speaks candidly of life growing up and her move to London, ''the first city that I lived in that I didn't feel different..' In The Hardest Conversation she speaks of the moment she had to explain to some of the black girls in her coaching group the reality of being judged, unfairly and negatively, and how to rise above it. As she says; 'The meaning of my name, Lulama, means reconciliation, to make peace. I am starting to embrace that this is my mission..'
3. Ama Agbeze: Winning Gold - A Journey not a Prize29:56This summer Birmingham hosted the 22nd Commonwealth Games, the largest multi-sport event to be held in England in 10 years, featuring thousands of world-class athletes and over 1.5 million spectators. It was, by anyone’s account, a roaring success. The city was a brilliant host, the people of Birmingham proudly, creatively, welcomed everyone and displayed the best of the UK’s diverse and energetic second City. The wider UK public who filled the venues to capacity, showcased once more the community spirit that made the London Olympics the best in living memory. At the heart of it all was Ama Agbeze, a Brummie, a Greenhouse Sports ambassador, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist as captain of Team England Netball and a Director of the Games’ organising committee. Ama @amaagbeze is the latest guest on ‘This Is My Playbook’ podcast and openly shares her life experience to host Simon Mundie @simonmundie reflecting on life at high level elite sport, what it really means to win the greatest prize and the value and purpose she takes from sport as she transitions to life off the court."I think what winning gold does is validate it for people externally, there will be athletes in all sports who have gone through their careers and never won a gold of or bronze medal. And it doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't exist, or their journey was invalid. They've still gone through what they've gone through. They've still learned what they have experienced, met people. And so, the journey is probably more important I think, than the medal. The medal just is that little star at the top of the Christmas tree" - Ama Agbeze MBE
2. Lord Sebastian Coe: Reflections on London 2012 - The Power of Opportunity01:03:41"This was such a personal story that I had to convey about the 11 year old (me), the inspiration of two teachers in my city of Sheffield, who won medals in the Mexico Games, the inspiration for me to go and join an athletics club... and I wanted my story. Not because it was my story, but because I genuinely felt that it was the template that the Games would adopt for so many kids like me. And so that's all I really did. I told a story...""I wrote the speech longhand, with a fountain pen at the side of our hotel pool in Singapore at four o'clock in the morning, and the words flowed very easily.."On the 10th anniversary of London 2012, the Olympics and Paralympics that shook Great Britain and the World, Greenhouse Sports ambassador Lord Sebastian Coe speaks openly and candidly to This Is My Playbook about:the deeply personal story and 4am inspiration that delivered the winning bid speech for LondonInvestment in sport - participation and elite - is the best social policy you'll ever needhis frustration at government still failing to grasp this as a bedrock for health and wellbeing, education, especially in challenged communitiesteachers and coaches as natural catalysts to unlock the power of opportunity.
1. My Progress Club - Dip low to jump high29:38In this episode I speak to Greenhouse’s Sports director of coaching Jason Sugrue Jason was an elite table tennis player, who was introduced to the sport by his Dad – who was sadly murdered when Jason was just twelve. The journey that Jason has been on and the lessons he has learnt along the way are so powerful. In this episode Jason redefines success, and explains the power of helping other young people in life. As he says – there are few things more rewarding. I hope you enjoy our conversation.In this podcast series – created by Greenhouse Sports – we’ll be hearing from a host of inspiring people about who and what inspired, supported and encouraged them during difficult moments. We’ll find out what they have learnt along the way and what they want to share and pass on. Greenhouse Sports is the charity that uses sport to help disadvantaged young people and communities. Their core belief is that every child deserves opportunities and a fair chance to get on in life, and through Greenhouse’s coaches and partners – they look to make that a reality. The work they do is about engaging with young people through sport and teaching them the life skills they need. 2022 is Greenhouse’s 20th anniversary, and over the last twenty years - the charity has helped more than 50,000 children in London, but there are a further four million children across the UK right now that they would like to help. If you would like to find out more about their work and how you could help support another generation of young people – head to greenhousesports.org to find out more.