Four male and four female coaches will face a public vote to determine who will train with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London.
A panel of judges from Arsenal and its official online money transfer partner, WorldRemit, have selected eight coaches as finalists for their Future Stars coaching programme.
The eight finalists will now compete in a public vote on www.futurestars.worldremit.com until 23:59 GMT on 11th November, for the chance to attend a personalised training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London – sponsored by WorldRemit.
Male Future Stars finalists:
Bakit Isaac Agogo from Gulu, Uganda:
Bakit started volunteering as a football coach in 2005 and is a firm believer in the power of football to create harmony among young people and help them overcome conflict. He coaches at Watato Sports Academy in Gulu and has worked with children whose families were affected by the insurgency in Northern Uganda. If he were to win Future Stars, he would use the opportunity to establish a children’s football league in Gulu and neighbouring South Sudan.
Feisal Abdi Hassan from Nairobi, Kenya:
Previously a professional footballer for Langata Gremio F.C., Feisal coaches 12 – 19-year-old girls in Nairobi. He has taught both boys and girls teams and believes that football is a powerful tool to reduce crime among young people and keep them motivated. He hopes to use the opportunity presented by Future Stars to promote women’s football and encourage his team to continue playing the sport that they love.
Luis Alejandro Castañeda Vargas from Bogotá, Colombia:
Luis coaches a blind football team of boys from Bogotá and the surrounding area. The team was set up by his father, who is blind, 20 years ago to help young people develop their mobility and independence. If he were to win the Future Stars programme, he would use the knowledge learnt from Arsenal Football Development coaches to help develop Paralympic sport in Latin America.
Samuel Taylor from Accra, Ghana:
Samuel coaches under 13, under 15 and under 17 teams at Em Sporting Club, which is located in a rural area near Accra. A passionate football player himself, he decided to start coaching to bring together children and coaches from neighbouring villages to enjoy football together. He would use the opportunity to train with Arsenal Football Development to share learnings with the local football community and enhance the standard of coaching.
Female Future Stars finalists:
Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba from Nairobi, Kenya:
A coach for Kariobangi Sharks boys teams and the Kariobangi Sports girls team, Beldine gets the greatest satisfaction from teaching life skills to young people through football. She got into coaching through her brothers, who were passionate about the sport, and has taught as both a volunteer and on a professional basis. If she were to win a training session with Arsenal Football Development, she would share her experiences with grassroots coaches back home to benefit the local community.
Chinasa Ukandu from Lagos State, Nigeria:
Chinasa and her friends provide young people with an opportunity to develop football and life skills at Help The Talent Academy, having completing phase three of the Premier Skills Coach Educators Course (an initiative by the English Premier League and British Council) in 2015. Chinasa coaches boys and girls aged 5 to 16 and, if she were to win the training session with Arsenal Football Development, she would organise a community coach training session on her return home to share her knowledge and experiences.
Joan Nabisenke from Kampala, Uganda:
Joan coaches girls aged six to fifteen living in the rural areas outside Kampala. Many of the girls she trains are orphans, and she is committed to helping them with their education and supporting them with food and housing through funds donated to the academy. If she were to win Future Stars, she would use the opportunity to highlight the benefits of getting more women and girls involved in football.
Vivian Johana Pirateque Garzón from Bogotá, Colombia:
Vivian has been a football coach at the Iguaran F.C. Academy in Bogotá for six years and her team of boys have made it to the top four positions in the Bogota League Championship three times. What she enjoys most about being a coach is seeing young people develop by applying the skills and values they learn on the pitch in real life. She would like to win a coaching session with Arsenal Football Development to improve her coaching techniques and grow as a coach so she can further enhance the football skills of her team.
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.