Enacy Mapakame Sports Reporter
GRASSROOTS coaches from the country have been presented with a rare opportunity to further their expertise at the Arsenal Football Development in London under the latter’s mentorship programme — Future Stars.
This comes as the English Premiership club Arsenal, in conjunction with money transfer service WorldRemit, have opened applications for the second edition of the training programme which targets football coaches from Africa and/or the Americas.
A brainchild of Arsenal and WorldRemit, Future Stars programme seeks to celebrate the positive impact grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children develop life skills both on and off the pitch.
Arsenal Football Development head coach Simon McManus said the programme ought to be all-encompassing.
“Community engagement has always been at the heart of everything we do and we continue to work hard to promote greater levels of participation in sport, both in north London and around the world,” he said.
“The Future Stars programme is all about recognising youth coaches across Africa and the Americas who bring communities together and are changing lives through football.
“We are looking forward to celebrating them and welcoming the two winning coaches to train with us at the Emirates.”
According to WorldRemit, Future Stars is open to Under 16s coaches from across Africa and the Americas.
“Applications to participate will close on September 4, 2019.
The online money transfer service provider will sponsor two winners, one male and one female, for a personalised coaching programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London.
Last year’s Future Stars winner was Hamisi Mohamed from Young Talents Soccer Academy in Kenya.
Hamisi founded Young Talents, a mixed academy outside Nairobi, to bring young members of his community together and help them avoid falling into tribalism, drug abuse and crime.
WorldRemit managing director for Middle East and Africa Andrew Stewart said Future Stars programme was part of their efforts to develop communities that are also contributing to their business.
“Our customers work hard every day to send money home to support their communities.
“Inspired by them, we developed the Future Stars programme with Arsenal to shine a spotlight on youth community coaches who use their passion for football to build a better future for others,” said Stewart.
“The standard of applications for last year’s programme exceeded our expectations.
“We’re excited to build on this success, and celebrate the incredible contributions of male and female coaches from across Africa and the Americas.”
Last year, Zimbabwe’s Titus Tongesai Sanangurai was one of the six finalists and believes the training he received will help him open doors to exchange ideas and improve communication at an international level.
Sanangurai began coaching when he played Division One football for DStv Rangers. Having secured his CAF “A’’ coaching licence, he joined the Rangers’ coaching staff and his passion for developing young talent led him to coach the DStv Rangers Junior Team.
When the team was disbanded, he set up his own team, Big Stuff Youth Soccer Team.
The academy-style team has grown from six to 60 players in two years.