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UK Gap Year students offered football project in Ghana

An innovative football training project in Ghana offering coaching experience and professional league placements has been launched by Worthing-based Gap Year specialists Projects Abroad.

Based in the capital Accra, this new project offers the opportunity to attend a football academy led by qualified coaches and participate in placements at local youth football clubs.

Sussex student Alistair Slowe, aged 18, was the first volunteer to sign up to the project. A Newcastle United supporter, Alistair has begun his gap year participation in the football project. He returns to the UK in March 2007.

Football project in Ghana

He said, “It was really exciting to be involved in such a new and unique project. Having researched options for a gap year, I really wanted to get involved in coaching football. This project stood out from the other options because of the opportunity to potentially train and participate with actual Ghanaian football teams.”

Project Manager Salim Baroudi is a former African professional footballer. He said, “This opportunity presents a great platform for young players from the UK to develop and become involved in the game. Through links with players, agents and footballers in Africa and Europe, we have created a way into football via Africa. We are providing a new and realistic career path for talented young footballers. With many years of playing and coaching experience, I look forward to passing on my knowledge, skills and contacts.”

Ian Birbeck, Head of Recruitment at Projects Abroad, said, “Our main objective at Projects Abroad is to match the skills, experience and willingness of young British people to the needs, requirements and abilities of communities in developing countries. Sending footballers to Africa, the reverse of the normal trend, is a good example of what can be achieved.”

The first volunteer initiative of its kind, the project also offers skilled players the opportunity to be selected to play for Ghanaian second division teams. No coaching experience is necessary. Volunteers interested in participating in the project will be required to demonstrate knowledge and skills in football.

Set up in 1992, Projects Abroad specialises in offering Gap Year students a diverse range of projects and destinations throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Projects Abroad offers 80 different placements in areas such as sport, medicine, teaching, conservation, journalism, business and community development.

For further information about this and other Gap Year projects contact Projects Abroad on 01903 708300 or visit www.projects-abroad.co.uk.

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