Arsenal targets Zim coaches
FORMER English Premier League champions Arsenal Football Club (Arsenal) says it is looking for grassroots coaches in Zimbabwe and other African countries to undergo training with the London team.
This comes after Arsenal extended its deal with Online Money Transfer partner WorldRemit to support the roll out a Future Stars programme that offers two youth football coaches from across Africa or the Americas the chance to attend a training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London.
Zimbabwe’s Titus Tongesai Sanangurai caught the judges attention last year in the first edition of the program and was one of the six shortlisted finalists from Africa who faced the public vote for an opportunity to attend a training programme in England.
At the end of the competition, Sanangurai, did not win, but was happy to have participated in the program as he believed it would open doors for his team.
He had begun his 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, Sanangurai set up his own team, Big Stuff Youth Soccer Team. The academy-style team has grown from six to 60 players in two years.
Simon McManus, Arsenal Football Development’s head coach said community engagement has always been at the heart of everything the Club does and will continue to work hard to promote greater levels of participation in sport, both in north London and around the world.
“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,” he said
Andrew Stewart, the WorldRemit managing director for the Middle East and Africa said the company’s 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,” he said.
“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.”
This year the Future Stars programme will have one female and one male coach.
Last year’s Future Stars winner was Hamisi Mohamed from Young Talents Soccer Academy. Hamisi founded Young Talents, a mixed academy outside Nairobi, Kenya, to bring young members of his community together and help them avoid falling into tribalism, drug abuse and crime.