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 Rafael is living his childhood dream as he works towards a career in coaching.
Project: Arsenal Student NCFE Level 2 Sports
Established: 2022/23 season
Participants since starting: 12
Weekly participants: 8
Sessions: In line with the academic timetable
Available to: Young people aged 16 to 18
About the participant: Rafael, aged 17 and from north west London, is one of the first Arsenal students enrolled on our recently launched NCFE Level 2 Sports programme.
Participant Rafael says: “I first heard about this amazing opportunity through one of my close family members Anthony, who is one of many amazing coaches that work for Arsenal.
“This was my first direct encounter with the club, although I’ve been following them for years and I’m a huge fan. However, I wasn’t aware of the education qualifications that they offer, which makes me even more grateful for this opportunity. NCFE Sports provides an introduction to sport and fitness to help us work towards a career in these sectors or prepare for further education.
“When I initially heard about the practical football coaching aspect it did spark a fuse in my head about past aspirations that I’d had when I was younger, as I’d always wanted to coach a team of my own. My life at the time was quite confusing I was attending a college in west London and studying a construction course, but it wasn’t something I was greatly interested in.
“My first day on the NCFE course was quite nerve-racking but luckily I attended with a close friend of mine, which definitely helped to ease the uncertainty a bit. When I first arrived at The Arsenal Hub I was greeted by the lovely reception staff and I knew this was somewhere I wanted to be.
“Walking into the classroom for the first time was very scary though, but everyone was the same as me – we were all nervous. My teacher Dean walked into the classroom and was very friendly. We started off by getting to know each other and it was all jokes and fun, but everyone was very motivated as well.
“In my time at Arsenal I’ve learned a lot about the different aspects of presenting and interacting with other people outside of the industry. I attended a Formula One event and presented in front of many amazing people who were all very supportive and pushed me to overcome my nerves.
“These skills really helped me in life, things like job interview, presenting for family or just around my friends. It really boosts your confidence and ability to speak in big crowds, helps you become more social and allows you to interact with others you may have been too afraid to talk to.
“Being a part of Arsenal means a lot – I’ve always wanted to be affiliated with them in some way, so by me doing this course it helps me relive past aspirations and also helps me to fit in socially, because it’s a very diverse area around here and the club welcomes everyone from all backgrounds.
“To others who are thinking about studying at Arsenal, I’d say to take the opportunity. This course has really changed me as a person. I’ve become more open minded, learned so much and I hope to continue learning more.”
For more info email Jack Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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