Arsenal in the Community

In focus: Young Leaders

Young Leaders Mayowa

Over the course of the 2022/23 season we will hear from a wide range of local people who have benefitted from Arsenal in the Community projects. Here we find out more about how Mayowa, 15, from Hackney has enjoyed the Premier League Kicks Young Leaders programme, based at Evelyn Court in Hoxton.

Project: Young Leaders Programme

Established: 2021

Participants since starting: 12

Weekly participants: 12

Sessions: Thursdays 3pm-5pm (The Arsenal Hub)

Available to: Young people who want to develop their leadership skills and have a passion in helping other young people and their community

Participant Mayowa says…

“I was introduced to the project by an Arsenal coach, Ashley. He informed me about opportunities and projects with Arsenal, so I decided to try them. That first time I was quite anxious, but I had friends with me so I didn’t feel isolated, and I found that I could also meet new friends.

“I have now done a week work’s experience, participating in Arsenal’s Kicks Sessions and football competitions, and I’m also currently involved in the Rocky 7 and Young Leaders programmes. Throughout, I have made new friends and also made connections with some of the coaching staff, which has been amazing.

“I’ve worked with Ashley for quite a while, and he has introduced me to a lot of new activities and people like Beverly and Dave when I was doing work experience – they helped me view Arsenal as not only a football team, but helping other people in the community. They really changed my view of the club. Being part of this programme has made me feel comfortable and be more positive and helped me grow in confidence, while coaching younger people and older.

“I have learned to be patient and also learned that being a coach is very difficult – you need to be all ears when dealing with younger kids. In particular I have developed self-control and listening to others’ opinions. It has surprised me that Arsenal isn’t all about football – in work experience I learned that Arsenal work with a charity called Freedom from Torture that helps refugees and others who have fled their homes due to war. Arsenal provides football as a way of therapy.

“Being part of Arsenal really means a lot, to be honest. Being a part of one of the biggest clubs in the world, having the opportunities that not many people have is exciting.

“If you get the opportunity to be part of Arsenal in the Community, I would say go for it. You will have fun and also make connections because there may be someone there to help you. It has changed my ways and views of some of the jobs that I thought were easy – but now I know there are a lot of things behind Arsenal. I also feel fortunate that younger kids now look up to me and ask if they need help. It has changed my view of society as a whole.”

For more information email Ashley King at aking@arsenal.co.uk

Young Leaders Mayowa coaching

Mayowa in a coaching session with youngsters

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