AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begović has told the region’s business leaders how his charity foundation and academy helps strengthen links between football and business.
The giant Bosnian, capped 62 times by his country, was one of the keynote speakers at January’s popular AFC Business Breakfast event at the club’s Vitality Stadium.
More than 100 people attended the first business breakfast of the year which was hosted by Steve Bulley, head of business engagement at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Asmir Begović Foundation, now five years old, builds and improves recreational facilities for youngsters in both Bosnia and the UK and his goalkeeping academy operates in his home country.
He said: “I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of sportspeople and the foundation is also a great way of teaching me about business and how to handle the transition into working life after football.”
Asmir, 31, who said he would continue playing for a few more years yet and then remain within sport, is also a member of the Professional Footballers Association management committee which cares for the welfare of current and retired players.
He added: “My advice to any footballer thinking about going into business is to start earlier rather than later, certainly not upon retirement from the game, and take as much advice as possible.”
One star who has done that very thing is Cherries defender Tyrone Mings, 25, who is a business partner in the interior design company KTM Design founded in 2015 by Katie Thomas, who was the business breakfast’s second speaker.
Katie, who went to school with Tyrone and later studied interior architecture and design at Bournemouth University, said that the business was an unusual mix of a footballer and a designer but that Tyrone’s high profile had helped it win contracts.
She said: “Tyrone is smart, entrepreneurial and is certainly thinking about his future. Football is obviously his number one priority, but he does make himself available for meetings and events when necessary.”
Katie, south west regional director of the Society of British & International Design and a visiting lecturer at Arts University Bournemouth, said her growing business had worked extensively in Bournemouth and Poole, as well as London, Winchester and Ipswich.
AFC Bournemouth player liaison officer & hospitality host Jimmy Glass introduced the two guest speakers and conducted a Q&A session while the club’s partnerships manager Amy Brunton outlined future events, including March’s AFC Business breakfast which will be held at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus.
AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.
It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.
For further information about the business club, email your details to Aysia Smith at [email protected].