Two Ugandan national are part of the 25 applicants shortlisted for the WorldRemit Future Stars football coaching programme. They are Douglas Smith and Faruk Musema from Ibanda and Gulu district respectively.
A statement from WorldRemit, says “the Future Stars programme was launched in August to offer local coaches from across Africa the chance to attend an exclusive new training camp with Arsenal’s top Soccer School coaches in London.”
Adding that, “The programme is a new initiative set up by WorldRemit, the official online money transfer partner of Arsenal Football Club, to recognize and reward the valuable contribution that youth coaches make to the communities they serve.”
Smith and Musema were shortlisted from a group of more than 700 applicants drawn from across Africa over one week. A panel of judges comprising of representatives from Arsenal and WorldRemit drew the shortlist of 25 coaches. “In recognition of their hard work, the 25 shortlisted coaches will receive official Arsenal shirts for their youth team,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, Smith and Musema expressed their intentions to use football to create a positive impact on their communities such as generating exposure for the teams in their villages and raising the standard of coaching for children with disabilities.
The judges will select five finalists through a public vote where the they will compete for the chance to train with Arsenal Soccer Schools coaches. The five finalists will appear on the futurestars.worldremit.com website and voting will open in the last week of September.
“WorldRemit will pay for the successful applicant to travel to London in October to attend the Future Stars camp. The programme will equip them with coaching skills which they can take back to build a lasting legacy of coaching excellence in their country,” says the news release.
Sharon Kinyanjui, the head of East and Central Africa at WorldRemit says “The high volume of entries we received from Uganda is a clear indication of the importance of youth football, coaching in the community 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.”
Adding that, “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.”
Simon McManus, an official from Arsenal Soccer Schools said football has the power to bring communities together, and through our relationship with World Remit 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.”
He explained that the work the 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,” he said.