Soul Device

Philanthropic blog

Why is Football Effective in Building Soft Skills

October 27th, 2017

Football is perhaps one of the most physically taxing sports there are. If you think about it, there’s a lot of physical skill that goes on in playing it. The field is pretty massive too and a player can easily run 7 to 9 miles on average per game. And we’re not even starting yet. There’s mental and emotional skill that goes with the sport as well.

Simply put, football is more than just your average ball game. It builds an overall roundedness and requires mental, physical and emotional skill which it also develops through time. It’s no wonder that the sport is effective not only in helping develop stronger and leaner bodies but also in building soft skills that are useful in the game and in life as a whole. Care to wonder what these are?
1.    Strong Interpersonal Skills
Football is a team sport and anyone who plays learns the value of cooperation as well as leadership. These require the ability to work with others. It also heightens one’s sense of sensitivity and empathy towards people whether or not they are part of one’s team.

2.    Effective Communication
Communication happens across varied platforms. Oral and written are just two. Let’s not forget that communication is also an instinct. We can send across messages through body language. The sport teaches not only effective communication but also helps improve one’s understanding towards the needs of others and the messages they may want to send across.

3.    Ethics and Professionalism
Hard skills can only do so much. Even the most talented person will realize that lack of ethics and professionalism is a killer. Nobody would want to work with people without them. Football is governed by rules and it takes someone who understands them and their importance to thrive in the world.

4.    Problem Solving

The game is fast paced and very physical. One has to come up with a solution given a time constraint and various elements on a constant roll. Because football teaches one to be alert and aware, it helps an individual better their problem solving skills over time.

5.    Focus and Attention to Detail

Lastly, football develops a person’s focus and attention to detail. As mentioned, it also takes a lot of mental gymnastics to play the sport. Plus, identifying and analyzing various factors during a game helps one develop their keenness and attention to various aspects and details.

What’s in a Name: Tony Bloom

September 18th, 2017

tony bloom name“What’s in a name that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?” was the famous line from Shakespeare’s masterpiece and undying classic Romeo and Juliet. But as much as monikers were devised as a tool for use when referring to something or someone, names have evolved and have come to mean more than letters and sound combined. Take the name Tony Bloom for example. It’s got heart, hard work, and grit personified. But why? Now that’s what we’re here for.

Tony or Anthony Grant Bloom was born in the seaside resort town of Brighton England during the ‘70s, a time we can all attribute to the first computer game (Pong), miniskirts, space voyages, groovy tape decks, microwaves, color television, and flared pants.

Young Tony however wasn’t as much into music, television or fashion growing up. Like his kin, he was a boy who was swept into the world of football. Matches at the Goldstone Ground were memorable moments for him and ones he often shared with his father, grandfather and brother. Little did he know that this childhood passion would come to accompany his name later on.

After spending his primary and secondary education at Lancing College, Tony took up and finished a mathematics degree at the Manchester University before ending up at Earnest and Young as an options trader. A stint he later left in 1993 to pursue his interests in business and investments.

A risk taker but also a wise strategist, Tony managed to make his investments and ventures flourish thereby creating a conglomerate for himself that spewed out enough equity for him to enjoy life’s luxuries at a young age.

By the year 2000, he had enough to enter the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club as a major stockholder and in May of 2009, he bought majority share and succeeded Harry Dick Knight into the chairmanship.

As his first project, he wanted to bring the Seagulls home. Everyone knows that the club had no home base since 1997 after Goldstone Ground was controversially sold in a futile and vain bid to pay off debts. The £93 million American Express Community Stadium was erected to end those grueling 12 years. Additionally, Tony had the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.

In 2011, Tony Bloom founded the Bloom Foundation with the advocacy on ending poverty and helping relieve people of its effects. He also co-founded the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation with his wife Linda.

Tony Bloom’s Advocacy on Poverty and MS

August 16th, 2017

An advocacy is defined as the active support to a certain cause. This can be verbal, physical or both. Charities and foundations are built upon and are surrounded by these advocacies, each one different in what they stand for and support. When it comes to poverty and Multiple Sclerosis, Tony Bloom is one man who makes sure that he makes an impact.

As someone who has achieved success through sheer hard work and risk taking, he knows fairly well that a game not only lies in the player but also in the cards dealt to them. Not everyone is given the same opportunities and is born in the same circumstances. That alone can create massive impacts and variations in people’s way of life. It is also because of it that poverty exists.

As much as we try to think it through, life isn’t fair. There’s a lot of disparity in this world and it has taken its toll. Not everyone can fend for themselves and the only way to level the field is by offering help. We don’t have to be enemies; we can be each one’s accomplices or comrades. Wouldn’t that be a better world?

In 2011, Tony Bloom created the Bloom Foundation under that premise. He wanted to ease poverty and end it. It’s a long shot but it’s better than doing nothing. Together with four other trustees which includes his wife Linda, they created an organization whose primary vision is to help people.

The charity focuses on education and training, employment, livelihood, projects, community service, life saving and preserving efforts, famine relief and similar other activities that support their cause. Their areas of focus include the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and the developing nations in Africa and Asia.

Linda-Bloom-1140x660Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is a charity founded by Linda Bloom, Tony’s wife. He’s a trustee and fellow founder too which makes this the second charitable endeavor by the couple together. It helps patients with the said disease to understand their condition, take appropriate measures and make better informed decisions in terms of healthcare.

About more than a decade ago, Linda suffered from MS too which rendered her from doing things as simple as picking up a pen or getting up from a chair. With the help of an evidence-based lifestyle approach, she managed to get her condition under control and is now better. With Tony Bloom, the couple wanted to extend help to other patients of this rare condition through the charity.

Sports Can Change You for the Better and Here’s How

July 13th, 2017

Health_sportsPhysical development and health are a given when one engages in sports. But what is often underrated is the fact that sports can actually change a person for the better and we don’t mean just the physical. Care to find out what else?

Several studies have been published about the emotional and mental benefits of sports regardless if it’s played professionally or just for fun and leisure. One highlights its ability to make a person happy. Since it involves exercise to a certain degree, it releases dopamine in the brain which is the so-called feel good hormone responsible for the feeling of pleasure and reward. This is why a lot of people actually feel energized and relaxed despite the intense physical activity.

It is for the same reason that sports in general helps relieve depression, anxiety, feelings of neglect, anger and frustration. It can both help cure and prevent them. As a matter of fact, many psychologist advice patients to try them out as it serve as a healthy outlet for bad energy.

Focus and discipline are also involved which is why individuals that engage in these physical activities tend to develop their attention to detail, problem solving skills, restraint, and obedience among others. Additionally, it improves memory capacity, creativity, and innovation. These life skills are very crucial not only while playing the sport but in life in general.

Moreover, it helps build confidence not only in oneself but also towards others. It helps individuals realize their strengths and the weaknesses that they can improve on. It both allows people to see their worth and to acknowledge and accept their flaws. The balance provides for the development of one’s self worth which is a healthy exercise that we all should do on a daily basis.

Because sports are often fast-paced and require a combination of mental gymnastics and physical adeptness, a person can also develop and improve one’s information processing, decision making and problem solving skills even under a tight setting and tons of pressure.

With sports, people are also taught about teamwork, initiative, relationship building, the give and take relationship, giving credit, and grace in defeat among others. These are values that are very crucial at home, in school and at work.

So can sports change us for the better? You’ve just read about it and we bet our bucks that it most definitely does.

How Much of a Risk Taker is Tony Bloom  

June 26th, 2017

tony BloomBusinessman and football club chairman Tony Bloom is branded as a risk taker. He may be considered a man of a few words and simple speeches, a stark contrast to his predecessors as the Brighton and Hove Albion F. C. chairman, but he’s one who sure knows when to give it his all. Let’s take a look at some of the risks this English gentleman took and how they paid off.

An alumnus of Lancing College and the Manchester University where he took up and finished a degree in mathematics, Anthony Grant or Tony to his peers spent his first few years out of school at the accounting firm Earnest & Young. Dubbed as one of the big four in the accountancy and finance world, he learned a lot from his stint as an options trader.

But younger Tony always had an itch, the itch to dive into business and investments. He soon decided to leave his stable job at Earnest & Young soon after, a move many thought as very unconventional and impulsive at the time. But the fruits of his big risk paid of not so long after that. He eventually managed to rise from the ground up and build an enterprise and a name for himself. His various investment ventures also led him to build quite a promising and sterling equity at an age many deem to be very young to already be successful.

His next move was in the year 2000. Born to a family of football fans and avid supporters of the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C., Tony, with the equity he has worked hard to build, entered the world of the sport as he became one of the major investors and stockholders to the club. More than business, it was a childhood dream of his to be part of the Albions, a vision that’s no longer surprising given that his grandpa Harry and his uncle Ray were vice-chair and director in the ‘70s and ‘80s respectively. He soon followed in their footsteps when he bought majority share and became its newest and current chairman since May of 2009. His first two projects were also pretty groundbreaking, the multi-million American Express Community Stadium and the state of the art American Express Elite Football Performance Center.

As if those were not enough, Tony Bloom also shared himself and his earnings to charity. He even founded one: the Bloom Foundation and co-founded another with his wife: the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Brits and their Top UK Sports

May 11th, 2017

The United Kingdom is home to many things. First of all, it houses one of the most prominent monarchies in the modern age with Queen Elizabeth II as the oldest living monarch in the world and the longest reigning female British monarch. It’s got topnotch tourist attractions that draw in millions of tourists every year without fail from natural wonders to jawdropping structures to even the entertainment industry. The bustling business industry cannot be overlooked either. It’s no secret that the country’s capital city of London is the world’s financial capital. But apart from these, the Brits are known for their massive love for sports.

The UK may be famous as a football loving nation but they also celebrate a number of other sports. Here is a list of their favorites for each category in no particular order.


Seeing as it’s the UK’s mational sport, (Surprise! It’s not football.) cricket holds a special place in every Brit’s heart. It is described as an outdoor sport played by two teams of eleven players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. A player scores by batting the ball and running, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out. It’s one of the oldest games in history and it’s not leaving anytime soon or at all.


As mentioned, this ball game holds the title as being the most popular in the country. Not ony is it exciting to watch a match but it’s a great workout too as it involves kicking and passing a ball across a massive field. With a traditional league system and over a hundred teams with a number being the most prominent in the world of global football (e.g. Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool), this athletic event is almost sacred.


Using rackets to strike a shuttlecock back and forth across a high net, badminton can be played in two categories: singles or doubles. It exceeds other sports in its category even tennis. The Brits have long loved the game. As a matter of fact, the Badminton Association of England was established way back in 1893.

How about you? Are these your favorites too? What other UK sports do you think deserves a shout out?

What Tony Bloom’s Charity Stands For

April 4th, 2017

Chairman of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, successful investor and business magnate, Tony Bloom is truly a man who juggles a lot of roles. How he does all of these without spreading the butter way too thin still baffle us until today. Magic or sorcery, who knows really? But as if that’s not enough, the man has set up The Bloom Foundation.

Founded in 2011, the charity was first known as the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust. Together with four other trustees: Linda Bloom, Marcelle Lester, Marc Sugarman and Adam Franks, Tony has since been pushing bounds to fight poverty across countries more specifically in the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and the developing nations in Asia and Africa where majority of those afflicted are women, children and the elderly.

It does so by supporting and giving aid to poverty relief efforts. They offer and make grants to various associations, causes and projects that share the same goals and objectives.

The Bloom Foundation’s primary focus lies on education, training and employment, livelihood efforts, economic and community development, overseas aid, famine relief, life saving efforts, health improvement and advancement, safety and food and water supply.

As its charitable objects state, the charity seeks to contribute to “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Poverty is a humungous issue not only in the regions mentioned but as a whole. It’s a global phenomenon that’s clear and evident without a shadow of a doubt. As a matter of fact, the World Bank notes that “the number of people living in extreme poverty globally remains unacceptably high with the most recent estimates showing that 10.7% or 896 million of the world’s population lived on less than US$1.90 a day and another 2.1 billion people who lives on less than US $ 3.10 a day.”

Tony Bloom, through his charity, seeks to reduce these numbers. Change may not come instantly but it has to begin somewhere.

You’d Never Believe These Weird Football Facts

February 15th, 2017

pigsbladderFootball reigns supreme when we talk sports with the British. The United
Kingdom is one of the biggest and most fervent of fans so the subject is definitely an easy conversation starter.

But if you want to keep things more interesting than usual, the following facts will surely come in handy. Some of them may sound weird but hey, history has its fine moments of “oops” too.

  • At a time when rubber wasn’t invented yet, players used an inflated animal bladder as their ball. Oftentimes, a pig’s bladder is used for its durability, shape and availability. They were apparently the easiest to acquire and the most abundant. A few years later, leather was introduced as a protective layer or skin to make the ball more long-lasting.
  • Football had no rules up until 1848 so games often ended in mass riots. The only objective was to bring the ball to the goal by any means possible as long as the hands are excluded. This led to a number of brutal sets participated even by an entire community. They were held in public places and roads. It became so popular and so out of hand that some people would be caught and detained for causing such a disturbance.
  • During the 1300s, King Edward banned the sport from all the land in preparation for the war with Scotland. He feared that people would opt to play the game instead of practice archery.
  • Speaking of royalty, reigning and oldest English monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was a huge fan of the sport. As a teenager, she was said to repeatedly sneak out of the Buckingham Palace disguised just so she could watch and play matches with populace.
  • During the first manned Moon landing mission in July 1969 famously dubbed as the Apollo 11, commander and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, wanted to bring a football. NASA, however, deemed it a little too un-American and not representative of their home country. Armstrong brought an American flag instead.
  • In the United States and Canada, the sport is known and called as soccer. However, the British were first to coin the term during 19th century England as a shortened and slang version of “Association Football”.

Care to add more weird and interesting facts to the list? Bring out your smarts and together let’s fill our heads with fascinating information.


Things You May or May Not Know About Tony Bloom

January 4th, 2017

tony-bloomTony Bloom is no doubt an overachiever. This is probably why his name rings a bell. He’s been everywhere from sports to business to charities. The man’s made quite a name for himself and so much more. But just in case, we have the following list of things that you may or may not know about the man.

His birth name is Anthony Grant. – Tony is just a nickname. Born to the family of Blooms in 1970, he grew up in the English seaside resort town of Brighton which is about an hour south of London by train.

He came to love football early. – Much of this is attributed to the fact that the Bloom family loved the sport so much. They were ardent fans who supported their town’s club both emotionally and financially. Tony would often recall watching matches at the Goldstone Ground as a kid together with his relatives. He would even ride the train with them to watch away games.

He attended elite institutions. – For his initial years, Tony attended Lancing College, a co-educational English independent school in the British public school tradition founded back in 1848. He then took up and finished a degree in mathematics at Manchester University, one of UK’s best and ranks 33 in the world.

He worked at an accountancy firm. – Right after graduation, he got a job as an options trader at accountancy firm Ernst & Young in 1993. He left a little later on to pursue his personal business ventures which al proved to be very successful and lucrative up to this day.

He became a football club chairman. – In 2009, he bought out majority share and became Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman, a post he holds up to this very day. He succeeded then chairman Harry Dick Knight.

He spearheaded two major infrastructures. – Tony Bloom was beloved by not only the club but also by its fans after he ended the 12 year stint of the Albions without a home. He helped financially secure the construction of the American Express Community Stadium or the “Amex” and previously Falmer Stadium. It now serves as the current base and home of the club which can seat 30,750 people and is valued at £93 million. Furthermore, he was responsible for the construction of the fully equipped American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. It was for these contributions that he was voted and awarded as “Brightonian of the Year”.

Tony Bloom and the Adjectives that Perfectly Describe Him

November 4th, 2016

tony-bloom-doncasterBorn as Anthony Grant Bloom, Tony Bloom, has made quite a name for himself in various aspects and fields. From business to sports, the man has achieved not only success but also a fair amount of appreciation and admiration among peers, sports aficionados and more importantly the citizens of Brighton. He was beloved so much for his contributions that he was voted and awarded as the town’s Most Outstanding Citizen back in 2009.

But if we were asked to sum Tony Bloom into adjectives, we’d pick the following.

  • Passionate – Destiny and blood may have brought Tony to become the current chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club but passion was what kept him going to give all he could to the team and its fans. It was no secret that his grandfather became deputy chair in the seventies and his uncle was director during the eighties. But it was passion that drove him to contribute the best he could to the point that he not only gifted the Albions a new home, something they’ve thirsted for after 12 years of not having their own stadium, but also a fully equipped training facility both worth millions each.
  • Smart – Before his stint as the Albion’s chair, he was first a businessman and entrepreneurial risk taker. His smarts and careful tactics have led him to grow his own empire which later on he used to purchase majority share in the club and which also helped him back up the funds needed in the construction of the stadium and training facility.
  • Hardworking – Many of his employees and colleagues would refer to Tony as a man of a few words. He doesn’t talk much but he sure does a lot of walking. He’s pretty hardworking and persistence as evidenced by his growing business and football achievements. He’s not one to bow down early.
  • Charitable – Married to Australian-born wife Linda to whom he has a son with, Tony Bloom is also a philanthropist in his own right. He set up the Bloom Foundation which has for many years been fighting poverty in various areas of Europe and the developing nations in Asia and Africa. He has likewise supported the organization set up by his wife called the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis foundation for which he ran two Brighton marathons for in order to raise both funds and awareness for the said cause.