The “Future Stars” programme is a first of its kind initiative to empower local African youth football coaches .
For over 700 youth football coaches across Africa, a dream to be more for their players started by filling in the WorldRemit “Future Stars” application form for a once in a lifetime opportunity to train alongside seasoned coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools in London.
Today, 25 coaches are closer to the dream as they have been shortlisted from eight different countries putting them a step closer to the taste of success. Kenyans will be glad to know the country is the most represented in the shortlist with 1 in 3 coaches coming from the nation where entries reflected a range of ways that football is being used to address social challenges including gang violence and drug addiction.
It is also noteworthy that Kenya can boast to have 3 coaches in the entire 4 shortlisted female coaches, making it easily the most representative country in the programme regarding females.
The “Future Stars” programme is a first of its kind initiative to empower local African youth football coaches to better serve their young players was conceived by WorldRemit with the ethos of their business at heart: giving back to the community.
As the leading international digital money transfer service platform that allows migrants and expats to send funds back home to develop their native communities, it only seemed right to run a programme that involved giving back - and what better way to do it than through the one sport that unites cultures irrespective of borders.
Within only a single week, over 700 applications were in, speaking to the importance of why these sort of initiatives need to happen more often across fields.
“The high volume of Kenyans in the shortlist is a clear indication of the importance of youth football coaching in the community and the power of sport to bring people together. I was particularly delighted to see so many compelling entries from women coaches and hope that their success will also encourage more women to participate in football. The strength of all the entries from Kenya is a very promising sign for the country’s future. Like these coaches, our customers are helping to build a better future for others. Our goal is to make it easier for them to do so. Following their example, we hope to use opportunities like our partnership with Arsenal to have a positive impact on communities across the globe.” said Sharon Kinyanjui, Head of East and Central Africa at WorldRemit
The shortlisted 25 coaches now face a panel of judges who will further reduce their selection to five finalists before being featured on the futurestars.worldremit.com website where voting for the eventual winner will again be open to the public in the last week of September. Arsenal is waiting!
“The standard of entries was very impressive, making this a real challenge for the judges. The Arsenal Way is all about thinking about others, getting the detail right and going above and beyond expectations. We were very impressed with how strongly this commitment to outstanding coaching was reflected by Kenyans. The work these participants have already done in developing their coaching shows the immense potential of coaching in Kenya to inspire confidence and encourage positive social change. Having the most successful women’s side in England, Arsenal is actively involved in encouraging participation in the women’s game. We see the strength of the entries from women coaches as a very encouraging sign for the sport. We are eagerly anticipating the final results and look forward to welcoming the successful coach to London.” Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools
A community coach for the Kariobangi Sharks under 13 and under 17 boys’ teams, Beldine is the only woman coaching male football teams in her community. She is passionate about improving the standard of football training in her community and helping young players achieve their full potential.
If she were to win the training session with top Arsenal youth coaches, she would use the opportunity to improve her own coaching technique and share her new skills with the local football federation to benefit the wider community.
Hamisi is a founder of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong.
Together with his friends, Hamisi started the academy over 10 years ago to bring young members of his community together and help them avoid falling into tribalism, drug abuse and crime. He was involved in the Premier Skills programme, a joint venture between the Premier League and the British Council, which further reinforced his belief that football can make a positive impact on society.
If he were to win a coaching session with Arsenal, he would use the opportunity to benefit his local community. He would share the knowledge he gains with others and use it to enrich coaching programs designed to address societal issues.
Iddi believes that a great youth coach should not only teach football but should also act as a role model for their players. Iddi coaches the under 11 and under 14 Ligi Ndogo boys’ teams and sees football as a powerful tool to offer children a sense of direction and prevent them from joining gangs or falling into drug addiction.
If he won a coaching session with Arsenal, he would organise training sessions for local coaches and school teachers to enhance the standard of football among young boys and girls in his community.
Kevin is the founder and head coach at Faces Sports Academy, teaching 60 boys and girls of different age groups from the Kibera slum.
After seeing children from slums being turned away from established football academies, he established Faces Sports to give children from all walks a life the chance to explore their passion for football and inspire them to achieve greater things.
Through a coaching session with Arsenal, he would hope to improve on his own knowledge of football and realise his long-term dream of having a positive impact on the slums through sport.
With support from the local church, Mutinda coaches boys and girls from Ruiru in the Kiambu county of Kenya. Many of the children come from underprivileged backgrounds, and Mutinda strives to have a positive impact on their lives as well as improve their sporting abilities.
A passionate footballer herself, Mutinda has been playing since she was at primary school and is keen to encourage more girls to get involved in sports.
Mutinda believes that winning a coaching session with Arsenal would better equip her to use sport to help solve social problems such as drug abuse.
Samira currently teaches a football academy (Knights FC) that comprises of community.
kids from the slum areas and has been coaching for around 5 months - mainly focusing on the under 11s. She began coaching as a way to bond with her son and sees football as a way to help children to grow up to be responsible adults. She wants to win because it will equip her with the necessary skills to pass on to my players. To give them an opportunity to fight through their current circumstances and excel in football.
A dedicated football coach for children of all ages, Stephen trains boys, girls and mixed youth teams at Premier Academy. He also launched Saturday soccer schools program, Ospreys Sports Academy.
As well as improving children’s skills on the pitch, he sees football as a great way to develop vital life skills such as decision-making and self-control.
His goal is to establish a school that strives for sporting excellence alongside academic subjects. He would use the opportunity to train with Arsenal to learn from premier league coaches and help build this sports program.
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WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Arsenal is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.
The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once. In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrated their 30th season last year.
The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save The Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.
Arsenal Soccer Schools encourage children to be active whilst learning to play football; with the emphasis placed on passing, movement, creativity and technical development through teamwork.