AMBASSADORS OF HOPE
Inspiring young people in my community.
My story of hope is that I’m a young man from an MTVH estate, who dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, although things didn’t go exactly according to plan, I am proud that I have been able to achieve so much through coaching and creating a successful business in football. I’m honoured to be part of many young people who are making a difference in their communities.
Kafele – London
Ever since I played my first football match at the age of 5, I knew I wanted to be a footballer. That was my dream, so I started playing for various grass roots clubs. I was tagged with the nick-name ‘Bull Dog’, as I was always powering my way through defenders to score goals, often receiving ‘Top Goal Scorer’ on award nights. At the age of 14, during a match I got injured, this injury hampered me for years and affected my dreams of becoming a professional footballer. It meant that I couldn’t play for a while and made me question what I could do with my life if it wasn’t playing football.
This made me turn my attention to other routes into following my dreams in football. When I was 16, I went on a training course through The Prince’s Trust to do my level 1 coaching badge and was eventually accepted onto the Arsenal FC BTEC program. I passed the program with triple distinctions. I was then offered a place on the Arsenal Gap Year program in Adelaide Australia. This was an incredible experience as it meant, working with the Australian Football Federation, using my knowledge and coaching skills to run programs in local schools and in the Aboriginal Communities.
I’ve lived in an MTVH property for the past ten years and often saw young people on the estate looking for something to do. I began training young boys from the estate and local surroundings for free and before I knew it, there were over 40 boys coming to learn more about how to play football and the spirit of the game. This made me think about how I could turn this into a business/ community venture, but was hesitant as I was still at Uni, studying for my Sports Coaching Science degree.
After a meeting with a community organisation in Barnet, I became serious about the business/community venture, opened a bank account and set up a board of trustees. This led to me receiving my first source of funding from the Young Barnet Foundation to run a summer soccer camp called ‘In Her Endzone’, a program centred around increasing young female participation in football. The program has been really successful! I’m now working with Arsenal ladies, as Academy Development Coach which been a great achievement. I’m currently in my final year of Uni, finishing my degree, and intend to continue to grow my business, not only to develop my skills but to help young people through the power of sport.
My story of hope is that I’m a young man from an MTVH estate, who dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, although things didn’t go exactly according to plan, I am proud that I have been able to achieve so much through coaching and creating a successful business in football. I’m honoured to be part of many young people who are making a difference in their communities and I hope my story can inspire others to thrive and fulfil their dreams.
MHTV residents who live in the London Borough of Barnet, who are interested in joining Kafele’s football coaching and training program, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07985554838. The program is for young people age 5 to 17 years of age.