England sends grassroots stars to Kenya

Four outstanding grassroots volunteers in England have been coaching youngsters in Kenya as part of a Football Association initiative, in tandem with local club Nakuru Allstars FC.

FA and local volunteers had a valuable learning experience in Kenya
FA and local volunteers had a valuable learning experience in Kenya ©FA

The English Football Association (FA) has given four young people the opportunity to coach youngsters in Kenya as part of its Football Futures programme, which focuses on nurturing the next generation of grassroots volunteers in England.

Amy Fisher, Jacob Odu, Lindsey Whitton (all aged 20) and Kieren Laverick (19) were selected to take part in the seventh annual FA Changing Lives trip in October 2011 on the basis of their outstanding commitment and contribution to volunteering in football. Accompanying the four young coaches were FA staff members Steve Swallow, Donna McIvor and Amreeta Bola, and experienced FA tutor John Heathcote.

The FA party were based in Nakuru and worked in partnership with Kenyan second division club Nakuru Allstars FC, who themselves recruited 17 local young leaders aged 16 to 20. Following a leadership training programme, the volunteers spent three days visiting schools in the Nakuru area, coaching children between the aged of five to 13. In total, over 400 schoolchildren took part in the sessions.

Nakuru Allstars owner Robert Muthomi said: "We are extremely grateful to the FA for bringing their programme to Naukru. They have left us with so much, and we will continue this work when they have gone."

McIvor, the FA's national education manager, added: "This has been the most successful Changing Lives trip to date. Working with Nakuru Allstars has been fantastic and we can see the legacy that has been created here."