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Young Leaders help in 'Changing Lives' in Rwanda

Thursday 13 Mar 2014
Five 'Young Leaders' travelled to Rwanda

For the second year running, an FA team has delivered a successful leadership programme in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.

The trip took place as part of The FA Football Futures ‘Changing Lives’ programme, which gives young leaders from the Football Futures programme the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by delivering football activities to African Leaders and School Children.

After a rigorous application and interview process, the lucky five selected to be part of the trip were Dominic Best (Middlesex FA), Pete Haynes (Gloucestershire FA), Matt Ford (Somerset FA), Lauren Asquith (Derbyshire FA) and Sarah Nickless (Lancashire/Shropshire FA).

Five volunteers travelled to Rwanda in the

The Young Leaders were in Africa for five days


The Young Leaders were supported on their trip by Steve Swallow, Donna McIvor and Matt Jones from The FA Children and Young People Team and senior tutors, John Heathcote and Sharon Muxworthy.

The group arrived in Kigali and within hours of getting off the plane, were straight into delivering football sessions at an SOS orphanage for approximately 80 children. 

The programme then continued the following day, with the delivery of two parallel leadership training courses for Rwandan leaders. One group were new, and experienced a leadership course which was developed based upon experiences from the 2013 trip and designed to be to be bespoke to their needs.

The second course supported returning leaders whom were part of the programme last year. The aim was to build on their knowledge and introduce them to the concept of Football Mash-Up and leading sessions for secondary aged children.


The trip in numbers

- 5 Young Leaders from The FA Football Futures programme
- 2 leadership courses delivered
- 40 Rwandan Leaders Trained
- 7 visits to schools, orphanage, university
- 680 children taking part in sessions



The leaders that took part on both courses supported the delivery of football sessions in primary and secondary schools for the remainder of the week, until finally leading the sessions at a showcase festival at FEWAFA, headquarters of the Rwandan FA on the final day of the trip against the backdrop of the National Stadium.

FA Education Project Officer Swallow said: "Despite a number of challenges this year, including having five days rather than seven, we are really proud of what we have achieved.

"This trip never fails to inspire from both the point of view of our five young leaders gain from it, but also in the ways that we empower the Rwandan leaders to deliver quality football sessions in such a short space of time."

FA National Football Development Manager [Education] McIvor added: “We chose to go back to Rwanda for a consecutive year because we felt that we could have a big impact building upon what we helped them to achieve last year.

"It was fantastic to see the 2013 group back with so much energy, having obviously put into practice what they learnt last year. Hopefully we have built upon their knowledge and taken them to the next level."

If you would like information on how to get involved in The FA Football Futures Programme, please email or contact your local County Football Association

By FA Staff