Nigeria: 16 coaches from Africa shortlisted as “Future Stars” by Arsenal, WorldRemit - Mega Icon Magazine
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Nigeria: 16 coaches from Africa shortlisted as “Future Stars” by Arsenal, WorldRemit

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WorldRemit on Thursday announced that 16 applicants from Africa have been shortlisted for its Future Stars programme. Of these 16 coaches, eight are women.

WorldRemit and Arsenal launched the second edition of the Future Stars programme in August to recognise the valuable contributions that grassroots youth football coaches make to their communities by teaching the children they train life skills on and off the pitch.

Through the programme, WorldRemit will sponsor two winners – one male and one female – to fly to London for a personalised training session with Arsenal Football Development coaches.

Entries for Future Stars closed on 4 September, and the programme received over 1,400 entries from coaches from across Africa and the Americas.

A panel of judges from WorldRemit and Arsenal Football Development reviewed the applications and selected 20 semi-finalists, including 16 coaches from Africa, based on the following criteria:

  • 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

In recognition of their commitment to using football to bring their communities together, the 20 semi-finalists will receive Arsenal shirts for their youth squad.

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What’s next for the semi-finalists?

From the 20 semi-finalists, the judging panel will select eight coaches – four male and four female – as finalists. Their stories will be shared on www.FutureStars.WorldRemit.com in late October and the two winners will be chosen based on a public vote on the website.

Andrew Stewart, Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East, said: “Congratulations to the 16 African semi-finalists! 

“Our business is all about connecting communities, no matter where they are in the world. We developed Future Stars to celebrate the amazing work that football coaches do to support young people and have been so impressed by the quality and diversity of the applications this year.”

Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, added: “Arsenal is thrilled to partner with WorldRemit to recognise coaches who use the power of football to inspire and support young people across the globe.

“We have one of the most successful women’s sides in the world and are committed to encouraging greater participation in the sport among women. Through this edition of Future Stars, we hope to further amplify the positive impact that female coaches have on their communities.”

Coaches in the Future Stars shortlist from Africa

Nigeria

Uzoma Kingsley Akanador, Coach at Unity International Charity Organisation in Lagos.

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Ademilokun Oluwaseun David, Coach at XPR Football in Lagos.

Chinasa Ukanda, Coach at Help The Talent Academy in Lagos.

Towobola Grace Iyanuoluwa, Head Coach at Hostel Football Team and Assistant Coach at CityBoys Football Club in Ibadan.

Modupe Marilyn Jiwalde Pusmut, Coach at Future Stars FC Sabon Barki in Jos.

Kenya

Feisal Abdi Hassan, Coach in Nairobi

Beldine Lilian Achieng Odemba, Coach at Kariobangi Sharks Academy in Nairobi.

Susan Wanjiru Njoki, Coach at Kahawa Sportive Soccer Academy in Nairobi.

Everline Achieng Onyango, Coach at Mukuru Starlets in Nairobi.

Ghana

Samuel Taylor, Coach at EM Sporting Club, Accra

Alhassan Iddi Manzah, Coach at Northern Women’s Football Clubs Association in Tamale-Dalun

Uganda

Bakit Isaac Agogo, Coach at Watoto Sports Academy in Gulu.

Andrew Amanya, Coach at Kigezi Soccer Academy in Kabale.

Nabisenke Joan, Coach in Kampala

Zimbabwe

Titus Tongesai Sanagurai, Coach at Big Stuff Youth Soccer Academy in Harare.

Winnet Muranganwa, Coach at Zengeza Busters Soccer Academy in Chitungwiza.

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Yobo gets Super Eagles job as assistant coach

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appointed former Super Eagles captain and defender, Joseph Yobo as assistant coach of the team.

Yobo will now replace Imama Amapakabo in the technical crew of the senior men’s national team.

The ex-Super Eagles Skipper  played for the Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles – during the FIFA World Youth Championship (now known as FIFA U20 World Cup) in 1999.

The attack-minded defender won his first cap for the senior team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match away to Zambia in Chingola in April 2001 and played in three FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

He also played in six Africa Cup of Nations finals – 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, capping it with leading the Super Eagles to their third continental title in South Africa in 2013.

Yobo played a total of 100 matches for Nigeria at the senior level.

He is a thoroughbred and dedicated professional who played his club football in five countries, including sterling appearances for Olympique Marseille in the French top flight, Fenerbahce in Turkey and Everton FC in the English Premiership.

The 39-year-old scored several crucial goals for the Super Eagles in important qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.

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He was also among the scorers when the Eagles thrashed South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 4-0 in a group phase match in Tunisia 16 years ago.

Born Joseph Michael Yobo on September 6, 1980, the flamboyant stopper also played club football in Belgium with Standard Liege, Tenerife in Spain and Norwich City in England, having started out with Michellin-Harcourt in Rivers State in 1996.

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Nyesom Wike: “Real Madrid Academy Port Harcourt is a legacy for Rivers State”

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Governor Wike

During the opening day of the 83rd AIPS Congress at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest in Hungary, the Governor of Rivers State, Nigeria,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike took the stage to share his vision for a project he holds dear – the Real Madrid Academy based in his capital, Port Harcourt.

Wike, who is described by many in Nigeria as the “Sports Loving Governor” began his presentation by reflecting on the genesis of his relationship with AIPS. “My relationship with AIPS started in 2017 when the president of AIPS Africa Mitchell Obi led a delegation to pay a coutesy call to me in Port Harcourt where I was pronounced and subsequently honoured in 2018 with the Power of Sports award in recognition of our humble contribution to the development of sports in Rivers State. Since then we have continued to relate with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), as well as the AIPS, to advance our mutual interest. AIPS is an organisation I hold in high regard, for its commitment, for the promotion and development of sports across the world.”

At the 81st AIPS Congress in Brussels two years ago in May, where Governor Wike was decorated with the AIPS Africa Power of Sports award, he gave a hint about his plan to build a Real Madrid Football Academy. Later, in the same month, AIPS President Gianni Merlo was invited to Nigeria to witness the laying of the project’s foundation on May 28, 2018 by the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad.

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Governor Wike announced to this latest Congress in Budapest that the Academy has now been completed and commissioned in September 2019 and has already admitted its first set of students from a local youth team that won a national football championship. The facility can accommodate 500 boarding students, he added.

“It is true that the future of any country or society is revealed in the character and quality of its youths, but what the youths eventually become in life is also founded on the quality of education and skills they acquire to the age of responsitbility.

“Sports and education are both important and can co-exist as a medium to drive the development, character and prosperity of our youths; this was the motivation for the establishment of the Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt.

“Football, among other sports, presents itself as one of the best possible ways to raising generations of young people with character and determination to achieve outstanding results and prosperity,” Governor Wike stated.

He added: “The Real Madrid Academy is expected to foster youth development by nurturing and producing talented football players for the state as well as inculcating critical skills and life values that will benefit our youths beyond the football sphere. The academy is a legacy for Rivers State.”

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While the Academy is focused on nurturing Rivers State-born talents majorly, Governor Wike made it clear that 30 percent of the academy’s admission slots will be reserved for the rest of Nigeria and Africa. In this way, the academy is also making an impact on the continent. WIke also assured that the academy will continue even after his tenure as governor has come to an end.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s statement on passing of Kobe Bryant

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement Sunday regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant:

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning.  He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary:  five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals.

But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.  He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world.”

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