Soul Device

Philanthropic blog

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.

Tony Bloom and His Family’s Football Heritage

September 14th, 2016

tony-bloom-brighton-hove-albionTony Bloom, born as Anthony Grant, did not simply become Brighton and Hove Albion F. C.’s chairman out of sheer passion. It happens to run in his very veins. It’s somehow written in his blood and as destiny would have it, he became beloved among fans of the sport and the team for all the contributions he has put in even before he succeeded the post.

His football legacy stems deep and it runs in the family. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane shall we?

In 1970, Tony was born in Brighton, a seaside resort town in England nicknamed as “London by the Sea” for its brassy beach front and beautiful piers. At the time, the Blooms were already known to be massive supporters of the club, investing not only time and emotions but also finances.

In the same decade, Harry Bloom, Tony’s grandfather and a well-known hotelier and motor trader, was vice chairman to Mike Bamber. He held the post for seven years. It was during his time when the Brighton and Hove Football Club aka the Seagulls rose from the old Third to the First Division.

According to former English football player and manager, Alan Mullery, Harry served as a great arbiter to him and flamboyant chairman Mike Bamber, ensuring that everything is kept professional and within bounds. He was the best buffer that held things in place and kept the friction out. Moreover, he helped bring Brian Clough and Peter Taylor to the club from Derby.

In October of 1980 while on the way to a game at Stoke, Harry suffered from a heart attack on the team coach. It was surely a shock for the entire team and club but the family noted that it was perhaps not a bad way to go considering that he was still doing something he so passionately loved.

The youngest of Harry Bloom’s four sons, Ray was the second generation to fill a significant post in the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. He sat as one of the board of directors in the 1984 and held a minority share for the past 24 years. After finishing his nine year stint at Worthing as managing director, he resigned the post to join the Seagull’s club.

Tony Bloom was the son of Ray’s older brother Ronnie. He is the third generation in the family who has been with the Seagulls. To say that his achievements as its chairman since 2009 are magnanimous would be pretty understated. He certainly did his family proud.

The Charitable Foundations Built by Business Magnate Tony Bloom

August 23rd, 2016

Business owner and infamous investor Anthony Grant ‘Tony’ Bloom has set up quite a name for himself with his numerous achievements and contributions. But apart from being a well-known business magnate and the chairman to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, the man has set up and help founded two charitable organizations namely the Bloom Foundation and the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.


Known previously as the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, the charity offers and makes grants to certain organizations and causes with similar purposes and objectives. It aims for “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” as mentioned in its charitable objects.

Together with Tony, the remaining trustees include his wife Linda, Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester.

As mentioned, the charity’s chief objective is the relief and prevention of poverty, specifically in the United Kingdom, in other parts of Europe and the developing countries in Africa and Asia.


Linda Bloom, Tony’s wife founded the OMS foundation with him after having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was fifteen years ago when she suffered from immobility and limb numbness due to the degenerative condition that affects the flow of information between the central nervous system and the body. She could not sit up on her own nor lift a pen. Tony recalls it as an agony. It was hard for him to see his wife suffer so much but thanks to proper diet, adequate exercise, self hypnosis, meditation yoga and an evidence based diet and lifestyle approach developed by Professor George Jelinek, she got her condition under control.

Multiple Sclerosis is unfortunately a disease that has no known absolute cause and cure. Most patients never really get cured from it rather they learn how to live with it without having to severely disturb their usual lifestyle. The foundation aims to spread awareness and guidance to other patients and help them make guided decisions to better their conditions.

In 2011 and 2015, Tony Bloom ran the Brighton marathon to spread awareness and funds for the cause.

Get to Know Some of the World’s Philanthropic Athletes

July 13th, 2016

david beckhamTo be philanthropic according to the dictionary means to be charitable, generous and devoted to helping people. We’ve come to know many actors, singers and celebrities who have done their fair share of generosity. Athletes are no different too. Take a look at this list.

  • Douglas Richard Flutie (American Football)

Doug is a former quarterback in the NFL, CFL and USFL who first gained prominence during his stint at Boston College where he was awarded the Heisman Trophy and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. Married to Laurie his high school sweetheart, he had two children Alexa and Doug Jr. The little boy was diagnosed with autism at an early age which prompted the athlete and his family to eventually set up the “Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Incorporated” who aims to help not only the afflicted patients but their families as well.

  • David Robert Joseph Beckham (Football)

Beckham is no doubt famous for his athletic achievements but even so for his many philanthropic works. A former professional footballer, he retired after twenty years in his career during which he has amassed nineteen major trophies. He has played for Manchester United, the England national team, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Milan and LA Galaxy. Together with his wife Victoria, they established the “Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust”. David is also a UNICEF ambassador and a founding member of the “Malaria No More UK Leadership Council”. He likewise supports other causes like the Red Cross, Help for Heroes and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

  • Jeffrey Michael Gordon (NASCAR)

Jeff is a former professional stock car racing driver who was named as one of NASCAR’s fifty greats in 1998, the fifth best of all time by Fox Sports and the tenth in the list of Terry Blount’s twenty five greatest drivers of all time. He was pretty much the force to be reckoned with in the track. He set up the “Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation” to support children battling cancer. Furthermore, the charity supports the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and patients who need the healthcare, regardless of their ability to pay. This move was prompted after one of his crews had a son who suffered and battled leukemia.

So who are other philanthropic athletes that you know of? We’re sure the list is long so go ahead and share your thoughts.

Tony Bloom and His Philanthropic Works

May 10th, 2016

Tony BloomTony Bloom, Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman and major stockholder and investor is a man that’s more than just all sports and business. His contributions to the sport may have earned him the “Brightonian of the Year” award in 2009 but his philanthropic achievements have earned him the respect and gratitude of many.

He has established the “Bloom Foundation”, formerly known as the ‘Tony Bloom Charitable Trust’. Its charitable objects state that is aims for “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.”

The charity’s main focus is poverty in Europe, the United Kingdom and the numerous developing countries in Asia and Africa. Among the causes to which it offers grant for include health and wellbeing, famine relief, hunger, economic and community development, training and education, employment, poverty relief and life saving efforts.

The Bloom Foundation is composed of five trustees including Tony himself, his wife Linda, Marcelle Lester, Marc Sugarma and Adam Franks. In March of 2015, the charity has £3.1 million worth of income from voluntary pledges and donations and £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management. Its books show a 61% utilization of resources for charitable spending, 1% for income generation activities and the remaining 38% retained for future purposes.

Apart from the said charity, Tony also supports another cause particularly that set up by his wife called the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation. About fifteen years ago, Linda herself was diagnosed with the disabling condition that affects the central nervous system. During her first months, her situation became so bad that she couldn’t even lift a pen. After several methods and a lifestyle change, she eventually managed to get MS under control. Still, the said condition has no known cause and cure yet. The foundation is meant to help patients understand their situation and guide in terms of informed decisions and lifestyle improvement.

In 2011 and 2015, Tony Bloom ran the Brighton marathon in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the OMS Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis.

Behind the Man: Tony Bloom

April 21st, 2016

The meaning behind a person’s given name is quite a fascinating topic, don’t you agree? How many times have you wondered whether the actual meaning behind your name matches the person that you are? Well, Tony Bloom’s does and here’s why.

Tony was actually born as an Anthony Bloom in town of Brighton in the United Kingdom. Anthony/Tony is an English name that had Roman and Latin origins and has been in use since the medieval ages. It means “highly praiseworthy”. People with such a name are said to be influential and has a great command and leadership among people.

Does it actually match the person that is Mr. Bloom? Is he really a highly praiseworthy man, a leader and an influencer? Here are a few noteworthy things about him. We’ll let you decide.


His love for the sport began at a young age with several members of his family supporting football and investing in it not only emotionally but financially as well. As a matter of fact, three generations and over forty years of Blooms have done so. His grandpa Harry served as the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. vice chairman in the 1970s and his uncle Ray was a director in the 1980s. It was no surprise when he followed suit in 2009 and became its chairman up to the present.


Before he became chairman, Tony has already supported the sport and the club since the year 2000 as one of its major investors and stockholders. He was known to have helped ‘personally’ finance the American Express Community Stadium (aka Amex and formerly the Falmer Stadium) as well as the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which are both currently operational.


Because of his contributions and devotion to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and the sport in general, he was awarded as the Brightonian of the Year in the same year that he became chairman of the said club.


In order to fight poverty in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa, he has founded a charity called the Bloom Foundation together with fellow trustees Linda Bloom, Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester. Tony Bloom is also known to ardently support the cause of his wife who was previously diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She too set up a charity called the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis).