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Nigeria’s Adegun is finalist for Arsenal FC “Future Stars” youth coaching program, needs votes to win

Adegun Shola John

A panel of judges from Arsenal Football Club and its official online money transfer partner, WorldRemit, have selected six coaches from across Africa as finalists in their new Future Stars coaching progamme.

These final six coaches will now compete in a public vote on FutureStars.WorldRemit.com for the chance to attend an exclusive training programme with Arsenal Soccer Schools in London – fully sponsored by WorldRemit.

The finalists facing a public vote are: Adegun Shola John from Lagos, Nigeria; Ahmed Ali from Hargeisa, Somaliland; Hamisi Mohamed from Nairobi, Kenya; Innocents Yeboah-Num from Abease, Ghana; Tersia Davids from Cape Town, South Africa and Titus Tongesai Sanangurai from Harare, Zimbabwe.

The programme was designed to recognise and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local community and has already granted Arsenal replica shirts to over 500 kids whose coaches were shortlisted for the programme by the judging panel.

WorldRemit has filmed the finalists during their coaching sessions and the videos will be shown on the Future Stars website, where members of the public can vote for their preferred candidate. Voting opens on 28th September.

A key part of the successful coach’s training at Arsenal will focus on how they will use the opportunity to build a lasting legacy in their home country. The finalists have therefore been selected based on the strength of their existing contribution to the community as well as their plans and ability to pass on their new skills on their return home.

The six coaches were chosen from a shortlist of 25 individuals who were selected by the judging panel earlier this month. One in six of the 25 shortlisted coaches were women and, as the programme moves into the final selection phase, Tersia Davids from South Africa becomes the one woman amongst the six finalists to face the public vote.

Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said:

“Arsenal has the most successful women’s side in England and is actively involved in encouraging greater participation from females in the game regardless of age. We were very impressed by the work that all these coaches were already doing in their community and the work of the women coaches further emphasizes the positive impact that encouraging more women to get involved in coaching can have. We hope that their success will encourage more women to follow their lead.”

Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said:

“Our business is all about helping our customers’ financial support for their community to go further. We hope that by shining a spotlight on the way these coaches are using football to benefit their community, we can help their efforts to go even further still.

“The power of sport to bring communities together and create positive social change was one of the key reasons for entering into a partnership with Arsenal. This programme has highlighted just how powerful sport – and our partnership – can be and the immense potential in this area. This is something we are now looking to build on further.”

The judging panel to determine the six finalists of Future Stars consisted of Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Soccer Schools; Marc Thorogood, Business Manager of Arsenal Soccer Schools; Ismail Ahmed, Founder and CEO of WorldRemit; Catherine Wines, Co-Founder of WorldRemit and Hammad Mian, Head of Customer Insight and Strategy for WorldRemit.

Adegun Shola John from Lagos

Combining his love of football and teaching, Adegun has been a community coach for girls and boys for three years. He is motivated to lead fun training sessions, helping young people unlock their passion for football, avoid social vices and appreciate the value of hard work, friendship and respecting one another.

He would use the opportunity to train with Arsenal coaches to build on his football and coaching skills and enrich the programmes that he leads. He would also share his knowledge with other local coaches to improve the standard of training in the community.