Two graduates of football courses run through Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Community Leadership Programme are encouraging others to follow in their footsteps when the sessions restart next week.
Nana Kojo Amunti and Joseph John completed Football Leadership and Football Respect programmes in courses organised last summer by Minds United FC, which provides training and matches for adults who have experienced mental health issues or substance misuse.
The pair have gone on to forge close links with the North Kensington club, with both men now executive directors of Minds United Community Interest Company, and they will use what they learned last year to deliver the next round of CLP sessions starting on 8 and 12 February.
Speaking about the positive impact of last year’s Football Respect course, Nana – who has also been running fitness classes for players during lockdown – said:
“Since joining Minds United as a player, I've grown in confidence and improved my wellbeing and depression by staying active and keeping.
“Doing the Community Leadership Programme has helped refresh my life and given me confidence to coach again. I still have bad days and the past three months haven't been easy at all, but I love my role within the club and truly feel that I have a say in the direction the club is going in.”
Joseph, who was already a club member and is now Minds United’s chairman, said:
“I had a level of respect and leadership skills before coming on the courses, but I learned a lot which has helped me in football and boosted my confidence as well. This has made me feel stronger.”
Minds United FC managing director and founder Tarik Kaidi said:
“I am really pleased that we have grown in the last year and given many opportunities to adults in the community. Minds United FC has supported players to become volunteers, to progress in their learning journey and those that are dedicated become paid members of staff.
“Joseph and Nana are both very passionate about football and have brought a lot of value to the club since joining, both as players and staff.”
Minds United FC’s Community Leadership Programme courses will be held online via Zoom. The Football Leadership sessions begin on Monday 8 February and Football Respect on Friday 12 February, with two-hour sessions from 2-4pm each week for six weeks.
The courses are for adults aged 18 and over and provide students with the skills they need to lead a team on and off the pitch and learn the importance of respect, fairness and integrity. To register or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07400 100207, Monday to Friday 9am to 11am.