Kenya’s Hamisi Mohamed has emerged winner after beating five finalists selected from across Africa for the Arsenal FC and WorldRemit “Future Stars” coaching programme, according to an announcement made on 9 October.
Mohamed, who trains about 120 children aged between 8-17 years at his Young Talents Soccer Academy in Embul Bul in Ngong, garnered 35 percent of the votes cast in a public vote from 28 September to 5 October, beating Ahmed Ali from Somaliland, Nigeria’s Adegun Shola, Ghana’s Innocent Yeboah-Num, Zimbabwe’s Titus Sanangurai, and the only woman who made the final six, South Africa’s Tersia Davids.
The Future Stars programme was set up by WorldRemit together with Arsenal to acknowledge and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local communities. A panel of judges from English Premier League giants Arsenal, including Simon McManus, the head coach at Arsenal Soccer Schools, selected the final six from a shortlist of 25 individuals in September, from which Mohamed emerged winner.
Together with his friends, Hamisi Mohamed started the Young Talents Soccer Academy more than 10 years ago to bring young members of his community together and help them avoid falling into the pitfalls of tribalism, drug abuse and crime. He was also involved in the Premier Skills program—a joint venture between the Premier League and the British Council, which further reinforced his belief that football can make a positive impact on the society.
“Arsenal itself is an example of how the social impact of football can grow from a small local community to an international programme, McManus said. “It is inspiring to us to see how coaches across Africa are using the power of football to support and educate children at the grassroots level and I think there is a lot we can also learn from them.”
The program has already granted Arsenal replica shirts to over 500 kids whose coaches were shortlisted for the programme by the judging panel on Future Stars website. Having been selected based on the strength of their existing contribution to the community, a key part of the successful coach’s training at Arsenal focused on how they will use the opportunity to build a lasting legacy and pass on their new skills on their return home.
Andrew Stewart, the 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.”
Mohamed fondly referred to as coach “Kaka”, will now attend an exclusive training program with Arsenal Football Schools in London fully sponsored by online money transfer service WorldRemit.
“Both WorldRemit and Arsenal have grown from humble beginnings to become global businesses, credited with transforming our respective sectors, McManus continues. “Now we hope that together we can help Hamisi to play a similarly transformational role in Kenya – perhaps even internationally.”