Jill Lloyd   13 May 2019

Hamisi Mohamed standing in front of Arsenal Stadium and looking at it

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
- Nelson Mandela

Like sport, remittances have the power to change the fortunes of billions of people around the world.

WorldRemit’s customers are supporting their loved ones and their communities by helping to provide medical treatment, education, electricity and the daily necessities of life. Digital money transfer methods are on average 30% cheaper for senders than traditional cash-based methods, meaning more money and support can reach the people they care about.

Our mission is to increase the impact of remittances by ensuring that a greater share of money sent reaches those who need it. That’s the part we can do, but the challenge we faced is how to tell people around the world about this.

If you want to spread a global message, you need to find a global language: football. So WorldRemit set up a sponsorship with one of the most popular and community-focused clubs in the world - Arsenal F.C.

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How are football coaches improving their communities?

In football, as in so many aspects of life, we see that players can achieve great things thanks to the people who have supported them in achieving their goals.

These people are the heroes of the players. Like our customers, sports coaches are the hidden stars who create brighter futures and help others to fulfil their potential. Coaches around the world unite communities and help young people to develop life-skills, as well as stay focused on positive goals and achievements.

These are the people we set out to celebrate when we launched our Future Stars competition.

Hamisi is one of over 700 coaches from across Africa who entered our competition for the chance to attend an exclusive Premier League Club training programme with Arsenal Soccer Schools in London.

“We use the power of football to address social issues, to teach [young people] life skills. We want them to learn to respect themselves, to know the effects of drug abuse, the effects of violence and crime,” says Hamisi.

His work was recognised by the judges from Arsenal Soccer Schools and WorldRemit who shortlisted him as one of six finalists to face a public vote. 

Winning over 35% of the vote, Hamisi was crowned the winner of the Future Stars programme.

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Football and global remittances – The power of the network

Hamisi and friends set up the Young Talents Academy over 10 years ago in the wake of post-election violence in Kenya.

Its aim? To use football to bring together young people from different faiths and tribes and unite those with conflicting perspectives.

WorldRemit’s business works because we have built a network that helps us connect our senders and recipients. Our work shows us on a daily basis the power of the African diaspora. We wanted to help Hamisi not only to obtain greater coaching expertise but also to develop his network and to leverage this to enable him to support more young people.

We set up meetings for Hamisi with Eric Murangwa Eugene, MBE, Founder and CEO of the Ishami Foundation; Lydia Tett Olet, Founder of the UK’s largest community event for the Kenyan diaspora; WorldRemit founder, Catherine Wines, and Simon McManus, Head of Arsenal Soccer Schools.

In Eric’s own words, football saved his life and he has chosen to give back by using the power of football and storytelling to build equality, tolerance and lasting peace in Rwanda and the UK.

Lydia Tett Olet sought to find a way to bring the UK Kenyan community together and to ensure that young people growing up in the UK can proudly celebrate their roots.

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Catherine Wines is the operations and financial expert in our trio of founders and has built up a phenomenal network of connections.

Drawing on this support, we hoped to equip Hamisi with the expertise to introduce Arsenal’s community-focused approach to coaching; a shared experience of using football to unite the community both at home and abroad; access to influencers who connect the Kenyan community around the world and mentors to consult on the financial and operational side of scaling his operations.

What was it like to train with the Arsenal Soccer School?

Hamisi’s bespoke training programme in London included coaching training sessions with Arsenal Soccer Schools and introductions to the influential mentors in the community. The programme was designed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to help Hamisi develop his work with Young Talents Soccer Academy and build a lasting legacy of positive social change through football.

A few months after the programme, we reached out to Hamisi to find out how the experience has shaped coaching at Young Talents Soccer Academy.

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“There has to be more professionalism in how amateur football is organised and run locally, as bad habits picked up at this critical stage of development end up being taken into professional football,” he said.

“I also realised the importance of professional football clubs working with amateur community clubs. The exchange of ideas and practices is beneficial for both sides and leads to a higher standard of football at a grass root level. “

“For my own coaching, I learned the importance of tailoring my training courses to fit into a game scenario. This makes it easier for the players to relate to training drills and put their new skills into practice more easily during a match.”

WorldRemit Future Stars - Hamisi visits London

Who will be the next ‘Future Star’?

When we launched Future Stars, we already knew there were talented coaches in the community doing great work. But after filming their teams for the final vote what truly struck us was the immense respect and commitment they command from their players.

Hamisi and the hundreds of coaches who applied to Future Stars proved to us the truth of Mandela’s words. They also showed us that it is the people in sport that give it the power to unite like nothing else.

We are excited to be planning the next Future Stars competition to find an exemplary coach who’ll help more people to discover a brighter future.

Who deserves to be the next ‘Future Stars’ winner? Leave us a comment who deserves to win, and why – and let your community know about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Find out more about WorldRemit now