Farah Banton, Arsenal Gap Year 2014

Arsenal in the Community

Farah Banton, Arsenal Gap Year 2014

Farah Banton, Arsenal Gap Year 2014


From: Croydon, South London

Pre-Gap Year: A-Levels in History, Government & Politics and English Literature

Post-Gap Year: Studying American Studies at Swansea University and coaching local team

Gap Year placement(s): N/A

What did you gain from doing the Arsenal Gap Year?

I gained my FA Level 1 and FA Youth Module 1 coaching qualifications in quick succession so I was able to coach in schools very quickly! All the teaching from experienced Arsenal in the Community coaches gave me great confidence not just in coaching but with the kids themselves.

I also just had a great time with the amazing people I met on the programme. 

What was your favourite part of the programme? 

My favourite part of the programme was when we were first "thrown in to the deep end" with coaching in schools. As it was a challenging but enjoying experience being able to see my progression with coaching school children. Also the official opening of the Arsenal Hub was a great day, being able to represent the Gap Year programme, play for Francis Coquelin’s team - https://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150508/pictures-arsenal-hub-opens-its-doors and appear on Match of the Day was obviously an incredible part of the programme

How would you describe your overall experience on the Arsenal Gap Year?

It was a truly amazing experience for me. Being around Emirates Stadium 5 days a week in itself was fantastic as I am a lifelong Arsenal fan. But being able to coach in schools in deprived areas, help out with Junior Gunners events and to look and feel like a part of Arsenal Football Club was the best feeling ever! To be able to help communities and feel like a rock star in some schools is a feeling you won't ever forget! 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing the Arsenal Gap Year?

My advice to anyone thinking of joining the programme would be to just apply! If you enjoy football and want to coach kids and are looking for an exciting and challenging year out of work or education just apply! I had an incredible time on the programme despite being one of only two girls. It didn't affect my ability to achieve on the programme one bit! It is an amazing gap year and it's an experience you will never forget and leads on to further opportunities within coaching.

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