Five Nigerian coaches will have the chance to travel to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches after they were shortlisted for the Future Stars programme an initiative of WorldRemit and English Premier League (EPL) side Arsenal FC
Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Chinasa Ukanda, Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa, and Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut were selected alongside eleven other African coaches from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ghana out of a total of 1,400 entries submitted by coaches from Africa and the Americas the organisers revealed on Thursday.
The Future Stars
Through the programme, WorldRemit will sponsor two winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.
The sixteen African coaches will be joined in the semifinal stage by four other coaches from the Americas with all coaches receiving Arsenal shirts for their youth squads in recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together.
Organisers say the semifinalists were selected based on the commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their community; 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.
The twenty coaches will be further pruned by the judging panel to eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com in late October and the two winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.
WorldRemit Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, Andrew Stewart, said: “Congratulations to the 16 African semi-finalists! “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.”
Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, added: “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.”
Coaches in the Future Stars shortlist from Africa
Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos; Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Coach at XPR Football in Lagos; Chinasa
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; Everline Achieng Onyango, Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi.
Samuel Taylor, Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra; Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun.
Bakit Isaac Agogo, Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu; Andrew Amanya, Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale; Nabisenke Joan, Coach in Kampala.
Titus Tongesai Sanagurai, Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare; Winnet Muranganwa, Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza.