Online money transfer company WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) and Arsenal today announce that Chinasa Ukandu from Nigeria and Luis Alejandro Castañeda from Colombia are the winners of the 2019 Future Stars coaching programme.
The two youth coaches will now prepare to travel to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches, and their trip will be sponsored by WorldRemit.
Chinasa and Luis were among eight finalists, four women and four men, who were selected by a panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal for their commitment to using football to empower young people and benefit their communities.
They emerged as the winners following a public vote on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com. Almost 40,000 votes were cast in less than three weeks – Chinasa received the highest number among the female coaches and Luis received the highest number among the male finalists.
About Future Stars
The Future Stars programme was developed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate the positive impact that grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children they train to develop life skills both on and off the pitch.
Now in its second edition, the Future Stars programme received over 1,400 applications this year from across Africa and the Americas.
The Future Stars winners
Chinasa Ukandu – Chinasa coaches boys and girls aged 5 to 16. Together with her friends, she helps provide young people with an opportunity to develop football and life skills at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos State. She completed phase three of the Premier Skills Coach Educators Course (an initiative by the English Premier League and British Council) in 2015.
Chinasa commented: “I’m so excited to win the training session in London and can’t wait to meet the Arsenal Football Development coaches. I love a challenge and will use this global coaching opportunity to take new skills back to Nigeria and give back to my community.”
Luis Alejandro Castañeda – Luis is a volunteer coach for a blind boys’ football team 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.
Luis said: “I’m so grateful to WorldRemit and Arsenal for this opportunity. I’ve always dreamed of travelling to London and will use the experience of training with Arsenal Football Development to help develop and raise awareness of Paralympic sport in Colombia and even globally.”
Andrew Stewart, Managing Director Middle East & Africa at WorldRemit said: “At WorldRemit, we are inspired every day by our customers, who work hard to send money home to support their communities.
“Through our partnership with Arsenal and the Future Stars programme, we are delighted to celebrate the stories of inspiring individuals such as Chinasa and Luis, who use sport to make a difference to the lives of the young people they train. Congratulations to the winners and our team looks forward to welcoming you to London!”
Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, said: “Through our programmes in London and across the globe, our Football Development coaches are dedicated to helping set young players up for success both on and off the pitch.
“The Future Stars winners’ work within their communities shows just how powerful football can be and the importance of promoting diversity within the sport. We are excited to meet Chinasa and Luis and support them in amplifying their contributions to grassroots football in Nigeria and Colombia even further.”Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WorldRemit.
Notes to editors:
Applications to the Future Stars programme were judged on the following criteria by a panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal:
• The commitment of the coach to improving the lives of their community
• The impact the coach has had on young people within their community
• The strength of the coach’s proposal to pass on their training on their return home if they win the programme
WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) is changing the way people send money. It’s easy – just open the app or visit the website – no more agents, no more queues.
• Send money 24/7 from 50 to 150 countries.
• More ways to receive money (mobile money, bank transfer, cash pickup, and mobile airtime top-up).
• Our award-winning customer service team are available to help 24/7.
• Over 125,000 5-star reviews for our app.
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WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
About Arsenal Football Club:
Arsenal Football Club (www.Arsenal.com) was born when a group of workers at Dial Square armaments factory in Woolwich, notably exiled Scotsman David Danskin and Jack Humble, decided to form a football team to break the monotony of factory life.
Since that Dial Square team played its first match against Eastern Wanderers in 1886, Arsenal has gone on to become one of London’s most successful football clubs and one of the most famous names in modern football with millions of passionate followers worldwide.
Steeped in history and tradition, Arsenal Football Club has thrived on a pioneering and innovative spirit that has existed throughout its 133 years in existence. While society and football may have changed during this time, Arsenal has always served to create a sense of community for people in north London, across the UK and around the world.
For further information please visit: www.Arsenal.com