A Nigerian female coach, Chinasa Mandy Ukandu, has emerged among the eight finalists selected by WorldRemit and Arsenal for their ‘Future Stars’ coaching programme.
According to a statement from WorldRemit, the selected coaches will face public vote to determine who will train with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London, United Kingdom.
The statement said that the eight finalists will now compete in a public vote on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com for the chance to attend a personalised training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London – sponsored by WorldRemit.
Ms. Ukandu from Lagos state, gives a team of young people an opportunity to develop football and life skills via her Help The Talent Academy, having completed phase three of the Premier Skills Coach Educators Course (an initiative by the English Premier League and British Council) in 2015.
She coaches boys and girls aged 5 to 16 and promises to organise a community coach training session on her return home to share her knowledge and experiences, if she wins the training session with Arsenal Football Development, the statement added.
It noted that the Future Stars programme was developed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate the positive impact that grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children they train to develop life skills both on and off the pitch.
“Now in its second edition, the Future Stars programme received over 1,400 online applications this year from across Africa and the Americas.
“From these entries, a panel of judges selected 20 semi-finalists to receive Arsenal shirts for their youth team as recognition of their hard work within their communities.
“The judging panel then narrowed these 20 semi-finalists down to eight finalist coaches – four male and four female,” it read.
It added that two winners – one male and one female – will be chosen by a public vote to fly to London for a personalised training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches.
“Voting is now open on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com until 23:59 GMT on 11th November,” it stated.
Commenting on the programme, Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said: “Our business is all about making it easier for our customers to send money home to support their communities.
“Together with Arsenal, we set up the Future Stars programme to recognise football coaches within these communities who are dedicated to supporting and lifting up others.
“Our eight finalists’ stories are testament to the transformative impact that football can have on young people. We are delighted to celebrate their success and wish them all the best in the public vote!”
Also, Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, said: “Through our community initiatives in London and abroad, we work hard to promote greater diversity in football and positively impact the lives of young people through sport.
“When developing this year’s Future Stars programme with WorldRemit, it was important for us to highlight the benefits of encouraging more women into the sport, both as players and as coaches.
“The eight finalists we have chosen all stood out to us due to their passion and commitment to using football to bring young people from all walks of life together.”
The eight finalists who are now seeking public votes are as follow:
MALE FUTURE STARS FINALISTS
Bakit Isaac Agogo from Gulu, Uganda
Feisal Abdi Hassan from Nairobi, Kenya
Luis Alejandro Castañeda Vargas from Bogotá, Colombia
Samuel Taylor from Accra, Ghana
FEMALE FUTURE STARS FINALISTS
Chinasa Ukandu from Lagos State, Nigeria
Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba from Nairobi, Kenya
Joan Nabisenke from Kampala, Uganda
Vivian Johana Pirateque Garzón from Bogotá, Colombia