Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?
I am Andy Dutton, Croydon born and raised. I’ve been with Kick London since 2007, in various roles and capacities, but currently a Senior Coach, overseeing our social media outputs and internal coach education.
What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?
Favourite sport is easily and unashamedly football. I still dabble in golf in the warmer weathers, and in my past have been known to play rugby union and skateboard. I support West Ham, but often wonder what the point is!
How did you come to be a part of the Kick London family?
I was studying Sports Coaching at the University of East London when I became a Christian (through playing football for a church league team). Through our club administrator, an e-mail came through that Kick London were looking for Christian coaches. I called the number on the e-mail, and the rest is history!
What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?
I think I have had possibly the widest range of experiences possible, from coaching out in France for a month with Spring Harvest, to being offered a Polo mint by Linvoy Primus in a hotel bar! But the highlight that sticks out for me was to share a Gospel centred talk at our annual tournament in 2016, and to see (roughly) 40 young people put their hands up to say that they were interested in knowing more about becoming a Christian!
What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?
I have definitely heard some gems over the year! A reception child asked his Teaching Assisstant “Does Coach Andy live in the cupboard?” today, because he saw me come out after putting some equipment away! I’ll go for a seasonal one though: A child once asked me “Why doesn’t Father Christmas wear any pants? Because he’s Saint Knicker-less!” Well, it tickled me, anyway!
As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?
I once heard it said that “Where your passion meets the thing that breaks your heart, you will find your calling”. My passion in life is sport, and a lost generation of young people breaks my heart. When I say a lost generation, I mean lost to neglect, to broken home, to gangs, to crime, to drugs, to knives. If Kick London can use sport to bring any level of self-worth and love to young people’s lives, whether they are socially deprived, or even just needing a “Well done!”, then it was all worth it. Jesus called us to reach out to the poor and lonely, and through sport, Kick London is taking the Gospel out of the church and into the community.
Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport? What would his favourite sport been? Who would he have supported?
Absolutely! Jesus hung out with “every-man”; the fishermen, the locals, the tax-collectors. Why wouldn’t Jesus have been in our pubs, enjoying Super Sunday? I imagine Jesus would have engaged in any sport where people would have been, and I imagine he would have been good at sport as well! He was a carpenter, and you have to be physically fit to do that! Who would he have supported; impossible to answer; Beitar Jerusalem maybe?!
What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?
As a player, winning the league and cup double for New Life FC, my home church. As a fan…eugh…not a lot to shout about really!
What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?
I mentor a lot of secondary school aged pupils, and have had some really good chats around them turning their lives around or making better choices. I think a real highlight would be a young person actively seeking faith, and asking questions around that. However, I honestly think that being a step on a journey to faith is just as important as someone getting there, so I think just having that discussion would be cool. Equally though, a young person resolving to make a positive change in their life is always a massive thing for me!
Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.