Simon Milton launches Futurestars UK at Portman Road
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town star Simon Milton has launched an international sports and education programme in Ipswich which involves professional footballers coaching up-and-coming players in Ghana and Togo.
The former midfielder left the club last year to join Futurestars UK as director, which features two coaches employed to carry out PE lessons in schools in Ghana and Togo in the morning, before working with the best young footballers in the afternoons on their coaching.
Last week, it was officially launched at Portman Road to 130 guests, and featured a showcase of what work was already going on and plans for the future.
Simon Milton, director of Futurestars UK, said: “I am delighted to be working full time on this project, in the last three years we have grown the number of children within the project to 2,500.
“The education and sports programs delivered by our coaches are enhancing the lives of the children in the five schools.
“The financial support we get from the OMA Group and Yinson Production WA is fantastic to see and we are now looking for more companies from the oil and shipping industry in West Africa to come on board.”
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Among some of the famous faces at the launch were Terry Butcher, who travelled to Ghana for the first time last year and spoke about his experiences, as well as lead coach and ambassador Titus Bramble.
The scheme currently has five schools on board across the two nations, with all five reporting that truancy is down and attendance is up since joining.
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Futurestars UK has now applied for charitable status in the UK, which if approved will enable more funds to be raised and more organisations to come on board.
As part of the launch a preview of the new website was shown, and included an upbeat video overview of the work in Ghana and Togo put together by Suffolk university student Will Allen.
The scheme has been bankrolled by two firms – OMA Group and Yinson, oil and marine shipping companies – which have both voiced their commitment to the longevity and sustainability of the work of Futurestars.
New partners Fendercare Marine were also announced at the launch.