We make no secret of the fact that when you join Kick London, you become a member of the family! And whether you are currently employed by Kick London, have moved onto pasteurs new, or have (in some cases) left the country, the love of the Kick London family never leaves!
As such, it is particularly sad to see one of our longest serving coaches moving on, as this week marks his final one serving for Kick London.
Jack Taylor joins us for this special edition interview, as he reminisces on his time with Kick London, and shares some of his fondest memories!
1. How long have you worked for Kick London?
I’ve been involved with Kick London since I was 17 years old so I’m going to call it 4 years, but if you wanted to split hairs I guess you could call it 3.5 years!
2. What have been some of your roles and duties while at Kick London?
I started off in a voluntary role shadowing other coaches such as Andy Dutton, Stuart Kennett and the man, the myth, the legend that is Tom Rutter. Later progressing to running after school clubs and the odd PPA cover session in schools. Also in my time I’ve been privileged enough to work not only in a coaching role but a mentoring role to some young people. The past 3 years however I’ve been based in Penge working out of St Johns Primary School.
3. What have been some of your personal highlights while working for Kick London?
Personal highlights, now that’s a huge question! Spring Harvest has always been a favourite of mine, going away with the team for a week of refereeing, football and an all-round great laugh! I will never forget the year Andy lost a tooth biting into a corn on the cob, honestly one of the funniest yet most disturbing moment of my life! I would also like to mention I was cross bar king in 2015 and I hold onto that with much pride! Now not too much can beats that Spring Harvest experience! Except of course NUTMEGS!! In my years at Kick I’ve collected my fair share on staff and children alike. (Had the odd one on me too) and the buzz is still as great as the first one I collected! I need not say too much more on this subject as it’s become a way of life at Kick London. No one’s safe….
Some might say this is the last ever picture where Andy had a full set of teeth! The infamous “Toothgate” meal from Spring Harvest 2015.
4. What tip would you give to current Kick London staff, or any new member of the Kick London family?
I don’t think I could give out toI many ‘tips’ as such because day to day our working lives are so different, my tips would only be useful maybe once a year! However I can offer a small piece of advice if you will, to all members of our staff old and new. Go out and be bold! Enjoy each day as if it where your first because even if sometimes you may not feel as if you are, you’re transforming lives!
5. What has been your proudest moment working for Kick London?
Now those of you within the company will know I’ve got a little bit of a bromance with Ali Park. This is mainly down to me and him spending nearly every day with each other during the 14/15 school year as he was volunteering for Kick shadowing me at St John’s. We had a great year together and I dare say that at some point amongst the laughing and 1000s of nutmegs I may have taught him 1 or 2 thing’s about coaching. Anyway not to bore you all with this love story my proudest moment working for Kick London was when I received a phone call from Ali telling me he’d been offered a full time coaching position with Kick. Just knowing I had played a very small part in his journey still fills me with a sense of pride now.
Ali and Jack completing the BUPA 10k as part of the Kick London triathalon 2016.
6. Give us a great story of a life transformed…
A few years ago I was given the opportunity to mentor four year 6 children, in the summer term before they left for year 7. One of these children was a young girl who had been involved in an accident and had scarring down her neck and arms, which she covered with a scarf. She was extremely self-conscious of this scarring and had mentioned to me lots about how she was worried about going to secondary school. Over the course of the mentoring we talked about the importance of loving yourself and accepting who you are. After getting to know her better I had set her the challenge of not wearing the scarf just for one day a week which bravely she accepted. To my surprise she turned up to the final mentoring session not wearing the scarf, when I questioned her about it she told me that through our mentoring sessions and other conversations of a similar nature with her family members she realised she no longer needed to wear the scarf. She lives in Penge where I am based and occasionally I see her around, and to my delight she still isn’t wearing that scarf! I couldn’t be happier for her!
7. What will you miss about working for Kick London?
Nutmegs, Ali’s cocoa butter, Robbie’s eyebrows, Stuart’s flip flops and Tom Rutter’s cups of tea! These are just a few aspects of what I will miss most about Kick London and that’s the family! Over the years I’ve watched it grow from a very small community of around 4/5 to a huge one of 20+ and I pray it continues to grow! I’ve never worked somewhere that has made me feel as loved as Kick has and I will miss being a part of it day to day.
The Kick London team from the YFC Waltham Forest 5-a-side, in which Jack played a pivotal role…as did Robbie’s eyebrows!
8. What have you learnt about yourself while working for Kick London? Have you seen any growth on your own personal journey?
This is a really difficult question as I think I’ve always struggled analysing my own growth. I feel like I’ve matured a lot since I started in a working sense and a personal one and although I’m still learning every day I feel like Kick has given me a great platform from which to push on to the next adventure in life.
9. What is up next for Jack Taylor?
Who knows! I’ve started my application for the army and I have a briefing meeting on January 18th regarding the possible next stage and a few other technicalities. Other than that I’d love to see the world and go travelling! Firstly though I’m going to enjoy my Christmas break with family and loved ones and then head into 2017 with an open mind to see what it has to offer for me!
10. Any final words?
Writing this goodbye interview has been extremely emotional as I have reminisced on what has been a truly fantastic time at Kick London. I would like to take this opportunity to thank anyone who has been involved in my Kick London journey in the last 4 (3.5 if you will) years. I honestly have loved every single second of it, I love you all and will miss you all greatly. I pray that you continue with the hard work because we are transforming lives daily and couldn’t do it without such a great team! I’d like to give a special mention to Becci Lee and Hans Sims who have shown me incredible patience regarding e-mails and expenses! I really will get better at some point I promise! Considering all the laughs and good times I’ve had I feel it extremely fitting to leave with these words… STAND UP ANDY.
Jack and Andy, standing up next to each other after the Kick London 24 hour football challenge in 2014.
Thank you, Jack, for this interview! We commit to keeping you in prayer on the next steps of your journey, and we look forward to hearing what exciting paths and adventures God takes you on! It’s been a pleasure having you work and serve with us at Kick London, and you moving on will leave an absolutely massive gap at Kick London…particularly the one between your legs! NUTS!