A panel of judges from Arsenal Football Club and its money transfer partner, WorldRemit, have selected six coaches from across Africa as finalists in their new Future Stars coaching progamme.
The selected coaches will later compete in a public vote for the chance to attend an exclusive training programme with Arsenal Soccer Schools in London, to be sponsored by WorldRemit.
According to a statement on Thursday,the finalists include a Nigerian, Adegun Shola John, who has combined teaching and coaching for girls and boys for three years.
Others are: Ahmed Ali, Somaliland;Hamisi Mohamed, Kenya;
Innocents Yeboah-Num, Ghana; Tersia Davids, South Africa and
Titus Tongesai Sanangurai, Zimbabwe
The programme was designed to recognise and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local community.
It has already granted Arsenal replica shirts to over 500 kids whose coaches were shortlisted for the programme by the judging panel,the statement added.
WorldRemit has filmed the finalists during their coaching sessions and the videos will be shown on the Future Stars website, where members of the public can vote for their preferred candidate as from September 28.
A key part of the successful coach’s training at Arsenal will focus on how they will use the opportunity to build a lasting legacy in their home country.
The finalists were selected based on the strength of their existing contribution to the community as well as their plans and ability to pass on their new skills on their return home.
One in six of the 25 shortlisted coaches were women before Davids emerged the only woman amongst the six finalists to face the public vote.
“Arsenal has the most successful women’s side in England and is actively involved in encouraging greater participation from females in the game regardless of age,” said Arsenal Soccer Schools’ Simon McManus.
He added that,”We were very impressed by the work that all these coaches were already doing in their community and the work of the women coaches further emphasizes the positive impact that encouraging more women to get involved in coaching can have. We hope that their success will encourage more women to follow their lead.”
Speaking about the involvement of WorldRemit,its Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Andrew Stewart,said the organization’s business is all about helping customers’ financial support for their community to go further.
“We hope that by shining a spotlight on the way these coaches are using football to benefit their community, we can help their efforts to go even further still.
“The power of sport to bring communities together and create positive social change was one of the key reasons for entering into a partnership with Arsenal. This programme has highlighted just how powerful sport – and our partnership – can be and the immense potential in this area. This is something we are now looking to build on further,” he explained.