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Roots Of Sport - Partnership

Claudine Boothe

Founder/Chair of IBCMAS. Miss Boothe is a Ph.D candidate at University of Bristol. She holds MA (dist) in film/video, postgraduate dip with distinction in Fine Art (film/video), diploma in film making techniques, diploma with distinction in mass communication and certificate (credit) in teaching media from Birkbeck College University of London. Miss Boothe is founder of the Roots of Sports project.


John Clarke

John started his working life as a scientist working in Quality Control laboratories in the Food Technology industry after achieving a qualification in Food Science and Nutrition. He left the Food Technology industry to join the NHS after gaining a higher degree in the Medical Sciences, and remained there until he decided to work in the community.His current interest is in working with communities to reduce /prevent mostly Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), and other common diseases and conditions associated with less healthy lifestyles.


John Kessie

John Kessie is a passionate Table Tennis player and coach, with a wealth of knowledge in the creative industries. Over the years he has used this knowledge to ensure that Table Tennis has great impact in the local community. As preparation for 2012 Olympics, John coached two teams (Islington and Hackney) for the London Youth Games in 2008 and 2009. He also assisted in managing Hackney and Islington Tournaments for two consecutive years.

John Kessie currently plays a key role in the management of Mildmay Community Table Tennis Club (MCTTC) which has been established for over four years. His leadership skills have ensured MCTTC is a recognised hub for new TT talent. Under his auspices, MCTTC members have attended the prestigious Cooke and Deaton summer school - one of the best Table Tennis summer schools in the UK-- as part of elite training and preparation routine. MCTTC has also expanded its services to local organisations such as Newington Green School where the club negotiated an initiative giving pupils the opportunity to experience Table Tennis first hand.

John is one of very few coaches in the UK who learnt coaching techniques from the Chinese.  He is a trained level 2 English Table Tennis Association (ETTA) coach and pioneer of Table Tennis development in many ways; for example, he led the Arsenal Table Tennis Club at Mossbourne Academy, in partnership with the Arsenal Community Programme and is now a Roots of Sport TT pioneer.

Mike Speranza

Mike Speranza is an Italian-American professional basketball player/coach/mentor/entrepreneur, who was determined to leave America and play in Europe. Mike also has a passion for working with young people to help them achieve their potential. He created ‘Scope 4 Success’, a holistic mentoring company, to help him achieve these objectives. Mike has a BA from Purdue University in Behavioural Studies and a Masters in Youth Work. He’s also father of four year old Keona, his half Ghanaian daughter. Beautiful Keona inspired Mike to help set up an NGO called Hoops, in Ghana which nurtures young Ghanaians, by providing opportunities for them to receive scholarships to pursue their talent. Mike is also setting up a performance enhancement institute with specialized development programs for helping ambitious young people to realise their dreams. The institute has received sponsorship from Big Corporations and already has a significant and very positive impact.

“I am looking forward to doing the best I can to make this project a big success and see it continue indefinitely.”

Laurent Irish

Laurent Irish 34 year old Basketball Player, coach and founding director of Future Generation Basketball (FG Basketball), was born and raised in the London Borough of Newham, Forest Gate, East London. Laurent who was coached by his late uncle Joe White, won every major English basketball trophy in competitions he entered over a 6 year- run. At age 17 Laurent took up an American Basketball Scholarship at Faith Christian Academy High School in New Jersey USA. After graduating, he received two additional Basketball Scholarships from Polk Community College in Florida and Embly Riddle University in Daytona Beach, USA. Whilst progressing in Basketball, he studied business management and returned to London after four years to start his professional Basketball career with D1 Club Hackney Interbasket, now known as Hackney Whiteheat, where he was re united with his inspirational uncle, the late Joe White, for a successful season. Laurent then signed a two year deal with the BBL Club Milton Keynes Lions, then moved on to the London Leopards for another two year deal.

During these very successful professional seasons, Laurent engaged in numerous community based projects, delivering pro basketball programs to schools and youth clubs across the Country. In 2006 he founded Future Generation Basketball, a non-profit organisation philosophy of which is to enable professional basketball players to work in communities teaching children and young people the value of education, health and sport. FG Basketball provides a fun-based basketball coaching programme which encourages young people to become properly educated not just about the game; but in other life skills and academic competence. FG basketball also provides a mentoring service,  led by basketball role models who can relate, engage and inspire.


Aquaterra is a registered charity as well as a thriving, innovative organisation with a big heart for sustaining healthier, happier and fitter communities. Our not-for-profit status enables us to use our surplus to invest in projects and services that benefit the communities in which we operate.

We aspire to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing through leisure, fitness and sports activities that are accessible for all.
Aquaterra works in partnership with Islington Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council to manage an array of sports and leisure centres and facilitates programmes, classes and tuition to create healthier and happier communities.

Aquaterra is the partner of choice for quality and innovation to deliver positive, proactive outcomes. In addition to managing leisure and sports facilities on behalf of local authorities we work in partnership with key organisations including public health, local health professionals, housing associations, other not-for-profit organisations and councils, to deliver the benefits and enjoyment to be had from participating in physical activity.

How we make a difference

Aquaterra enriches lives though sport and leisure activities. At your Aquaterra, we're about loving leisure and making individuals feel welcome and supported. We enjoy what we do, and we want you to enjoy everything about your experience with us!

We are the specialists in delivering community focused leisure services and provide motivational, energising programmes, classes and tuition to create healthier and happier communities.

Through our local leisure hubs, our community programmes and charitable projects, we connect people to their communities in an active way.

Bounce was launched late in 2012 as Europe’s first ‘Social Ping Pong Club. It was inspired by the explosion of stylish table tennis social venues in the United States and the huge resurgence of interest in the game within the UK. It’s main space houses 17 ping pong tables, including the official London 2012 Olympic Final and the World Championship Final table; with the opulent Private ‘Jaques’ Room containing three bespoke designed tables, UV ping pong and an integrated karaoke system. Bounce has already established itself as one of London’s most iconic and most talked about venues in London and hosted games for Elle Macpherson, Gwyneth Paltrow & Kevin Spacey.
Bounce works with a number of charity partners and community projects and is hugely proud to partner with Roots of Sport to host their October event, encouraging interest in ping pong among young people, and championing the achievements of the great British sportsman, Desmond Douglas.