By Dipo Olowookere
Mr Hamisi Mohamed from Nairobi, Kenya has been announced as winner of the Future Stars programme put together by Arsenal FC and its official online money transfer partner, WorldRemit.
Mr Mohamed won the scheme through a public vote against five other youth football coaches from across Africa, scoring over 35 percent of the votes on https://FutureStars.WorldRemit.com.
With the win, he will have the chance to train with coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools through a customized training programme to support him in building a legacy of positive social impact through football in Kenya.
Mr Mohamed, known locally as Coach Kaka, is one of the founders of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong. The academy aims to help children to succeed both on and off the pitch.
“We use the power of football to address social issues, to teach them life skills. We want them to learn to respect themselves, to know the effects of drug abuse, the effects of violence and crime,” the winner said.
Reflecting the shared values of the two companies, the Future Stars programme was set up by WorldRemit together with Arsenal to acknowledge and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local communities. Through the programme, 25 shortlisted coaches have already been granted Arsenal replica shirts for their entire youth squad in recognition of their work.
Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit, Mr Andrew Stewart, stated that, “Our business is all about helping our customers’ financial support for their community to go further. The work of all the coaches in the Future Stars programme has reinforced our belief in the immense potential of sport to inspire positive change and encouraged us to explore further opportunities to support the communities we serve through sport. We hope that this programme will encourage others to follow their example and that this will be only the beginning of a much longer story.”
Back in 1985, in response to social unrest on London estates, Arsenal became one of the first clubs in the UK to set up a dedicated community team in 1985. The Young Talents academy emerged from similar origins: Mr Mohamed founded the club over 10 years ago to bring young members of his community together following the post-election violence in Kenya.
As Arsenal’s community has grown, so has the impact of Arsenal in the Community’s work and the team now deliver sport, social and education programmes to over 5,000 individuals each week.
Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said, “Arsenal itself is an example of how the social impact of football can grow from a small local community to an international programme. It is inspiring to us to see how coaches across Africa are using the power of football to support and educate children at the grassroots level and I think there is a lot we can also learn from them.
“Both WorldRemit and Arsenal have grown from humble beginnings to become global businesses, credited with transforming our respective sectors. Now we hope that together we can help Hamisi to play a similarly transformational role in Kenya – perhaps even internationally.”
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