Three Zimbabweans shortlisted as “Future Stars” in pioneering new coaching programme from Arsenal and WorldRemit – inspired by Zimbabwean coaches

Thursday 13th September 2018, Three of the 25 shortlisted applicants for the WorldRemit  Future Stars coaching programme are from Zimbabwe. 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 Schools coaches in London.

The inspiration for the programme came when WorldRemit, the official online money transfer partner of Arsenal Football Club, brought Arsenal youth coaches to Zimbabwe for an informal community tournament and coaching clinic in April this year.

Impressed by the high standard of youth football in Zimbabwe and the dedication of the coaches, WorldRemit worked with their partners at Arsenal to create a programme to recognise and reward youth coaches from across Africa. Through the Future Stars programme the hard-work of the 25 shortlisted coaches will be rewarded with official Arsenal shirts for an entire youth team and one coach will have the chance to travel to London to train with Arsenal Soccer Schools.

The programme received over 700 applications a week from across Africa. A shortlist of 25 coaches has been selected by a judging panel of representatives from Arsenal and WorldRemit.

Zimbabwe has outperformed other countries in its representation in the shortlist  with almost 1 in 8  of the shortlisted coaches coming from Zimbabwe. The entries reflected a range of ways that football can be used to tackle societal challenges including combating HIV and drug abuse to increasing opportunities for women, improving international understanding and exchanging ideas.

From the 25 shortlisted applicants, five finalists chosen by the judges will go through to a public vote, where they will compete for the chance to train with Arsenal Soccer Schools coaches. The five finalists will be featured on the 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 designed to develop coaching skills which they can take back to build a lasting legacy of coaching excellence in their country.

Pardon Mujakachi, Country Director for WorldRemit in Zimbabwe said: “The high volume of Zimbabweans in the shortlist is a clear indication of the importance of youth football coaching in the community here in Zimbabwe and the power of sport to inspire and connect people. We see the strength of the entries from Zimbabwe as a very promising sign for the country’s future.

Like these coaches, our customers are helping to build better futures 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 help have a positive impact on communities across the globe.”

Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said: “Arsenal prides itself on excellence and we were very impressed with how strongly this commitment to top-class coaching was reflected by Zimbabweans. When I visited Zimbabwe earlier this year, I was struck by the talent of the young players and how well the coaches responded to the brief coaching clinic we gave.

The work these coaches have already done in developing their coaching shows the immense potential of coaching in Zimbabwe to inspire confidence and encourage positive social change. We are eagerly anticipating the final outcome and look forward to welcoming the successful coach to London.”