Dreams and the fire of hope that power us to achieve them is the honey that gives life its taste. For over 700 youth football coaches across Africa, a dream to be more for their players started by filling in the WorldRemit “Future Stars” application form for a once in a lifetime opportunity to train alongside seasoned coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools in London.

Today, 25 coaches are closer to the dream as they have been shortlisted from eight different countries putting them a step closer to the taste of success. For the 2018 Future Award initiative, of the 25 coaches shortlisted by public vote, Uganda emerged with 2 coaches: Musema Faruk and Douglas Smith.

The “Future Stars”  programme, a first of its kind initiative to empower local African youth football coaches to better serve their young players was conceived by WorldRemit with the ethos of their business at heart: giving back to the community.

As the leading international digital money transfer service platform that allows migrants and expats to send funds back home to develop their native communities, it only seemed right to run a programme that involved giving back -  and what better way to do it than through the one sport that unites cultures irrespective of borders.

Within only a single week, over 700 applications were in, speaking to the importance of why these sort of initiatives need to happen more often across fields.

Ivan Kanyali, Country Manager for WorldRemit in Uganda said: “The high volume of entries we received from Uganda is a clear indication of the importance of youth football coaching and the vital role of sport in the community. We see the strength of the entries from Uganda as a very promising sign for the country’s future.

Like these coaches, our customers are helping to build a better future for others. Our goal is to make it easier for them to do so. Following their example, we hope to use opportunities like our partnership with Arsenal to have a positive impact on communities across the globe.”

The shortlisted 25 coaches now face a panel of judges who will further reduce the selection to five finalists before being featured on the futurestars.worldremit.com website where voting for the eventual winner will again be open to the public in the last week of September. Arsenal is waiting!

Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said:

“Football has the power to bring communities together, and through our relationship with WorldRemit we can really inspire confidence and encourage positive social change. We pride ourselves on excellence in all we do and we were very impressed with how strongly the commitment to outstanding coaching was reflected by Ugandans.

The work these participants have already done in developing their coaching shows the immense potential of coaching in Uganda. The standard of entries was very impressive, making this a real challenge for the judges. We are eagerly anticipating the final results and look forward to welcoming the successful coach to London.”

Ugandans in the Future Stars shortlist

Douglas Smith from Ibanda, Western Region

A founder and coach at Ibanda Young Stars Soccer Academy, Douglas is a strong believer in the power of football to bring about social change.

Since the academy was founded in March 2017, more than 200 children have been involved in its programs, and Douglas was recently nominated in the Outstanding Sports Personality category of the 2018 Young Achievers Awards in Uganda.

If he were to win a training session with Arsenal coaches, he would use the opportunity to network and learn from the Arsenal Soccer Schools coaches and shine a spotlight on his young players from the villages of Ibanda.

Musema Faruk from Gulu, Northern Region

Musema is an inclusive sports coach for children with disabilities at GDPU (Gulu Disabled Persons Union).

With a passion for sports, Musema developed a proposal for sports coaching sessions when he joined GDPU, which was funded for two years by USAID (U.S. Agency for International development). He currently teaches football for under 13 and under 16 teams with hearing difficulties, helping them to hone their football skills as well as build their self-esteem.

If he were to win a training session with Arsenal coaches, Musema would share what he had learnt with other coaches in his community to enrich the quality of their coaching. He would also use the opportunity as a platform to share his experience of working with children with disabilities.

About WorldRemit

WorldRemit is changing the way people send money.

It’s easy – just open the app or visit the website – no more agents, no more queues, no more time wasted

·       Transfers to most countries are instant – send money like an instant message.

·       Send money anytime with award-winning customer service team available to help 24/7

·       85,000 5-star reviews for our app

·       More ways to receive (Mobile Money, bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up).

·       Available in over 50 countries and more than 145+ destinations.

·       Backed by Accel Partners and TCV – investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack.

WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

About Arsenal Football Club

Arsenal is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.

The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once. In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrated their 30th season last year.

The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save The Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.

For further information please visit www.arsenal.com

About Arsenal Soccer Schools

Arsenal Soccer Schools encourage children to be active whilst learning to play football; with the emphasis placed on passing, movement, creativity and technical development through teamwork.

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