Sixteen coaches from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been shortlisted for Future Stars programme being organised by WorldRemit and Arsenal. Of these 16 coaches, eight are women.
WorldRemit and Arsenal launched the second edition of the Future Stars programme in August to recognise the valuable contributions that grassroots youth football coaches make to their communities by teaching the children they train life skills on and off the pitch.
Through the programme, WorldRemit would sponsor two final winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.
At the close of work for Future Stars deadline on 4 September, over 1,400 entries were received from coaches from across Africa and the Americas.
A panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Development reviewed the applications and selected 20 semi-finalists, with 16 coaches from Africa.
Criteria used to select the coaches the semi-finalists include: the commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their communith; the impact the coach has had on young people within their community; and the strength of the coach’s proposal to pass on their training on their return home.
Coaches shortlisted for the Future Stars from Africa are:
Nigeria – Uzoma Kingsley Akanador (Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos); Ademilokun Oluwaseun David (Coach at XPR Football in Lagos); Chinasa Ukanda (Coach at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos); Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa (Head Coach at Hostel Football Team and Assistant Coach at CityBoys Football Club in Ibadan); and Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut (Coach at Future Stars FC Sabon Barki in Jos).
Kenya – Feisal Abdi Hassan (Coach in Nairobi); Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba (Coach at Kariobangi Sharks Academy in Nairobi); Susan Wanjiru Njoki (Coach at Kahawa Sportive Soccer Academy in Nairobi); and Everline Achieng Onyango (Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi).
Ghana – Samuel Taylor (Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra); and Alhassan Iddi Manzah (Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun).
Uganda – Bakit Isaac Agogo (Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu); Andrew Amanya (Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale); and Nabisenke Joan (Coach in Kampala).
Zimbabwe – Titus Tongesai Sanagurai (Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare); and Winnet Muranganwa (Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza).
From the 20 semi-finalists, the judging panel would select eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared next month and the two winners would be chosen ultimately based on a public vote on the WorldRemit website.
Congratulating the 16 African semi-finalists, WorldRemit Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, Andrew Stewart, said: “Our business is all about connecting communities, no matter where they are in the world. We developed Future Stars to celebrate the amazing work that football coaches do to support young people and have been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the applications this year.”
In his remarks, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, Simon McManus, said: “Arsenal is thrilled to partner with WorldRemit to recognise coaches who use the power of football to inspire and support young people across the globe.
“We have one of the most successful women’s sides in the world and are committed to encouraging greater participation in the sport among women. Through this edition of Future Stars, we hope to further amplify the positive impact that female coaches have on their communities.”
Meanwhile, WorldRemit has said in recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together, the 20 semi-finalists would receive Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.
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