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Thousands of teenagers from Al Batinah North are being given the chance to become ‘Leaders’ thanks to a unique initiative being launched in the region.

The ‘Leadership Programme’ is part of the highly successful ‘Football for Future’ Outreach Programme being funded by four of the Sultanates most socially responsible companies.

Nawras, ORPIC, Sohar Aluminium and Vale have teamed up to fund the pioneering Outreach Programme which is benefitting nearly 3000 young Omani children every month.

The quartet of companies has already helped to educate more than 8000 children aged between 8 and 12 in Al Batinah North using football to convey key messages including the importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise and being a caring member of the community.

The initial first phase programme, delivered by UK partners Kickworldwide, also has a strong emphasis on Road safety and warns of the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

The second phase, ‘The Leadership Programme’ was officially launched on 27th February at the Sohar Sports Complex.

The unique programme is being delivered in schools throughout the region on a daily basis with up to fifty 13 to 16 year olds being given the opportunity to achieve the Kickworldwide Level One Leadership Award, supported by the Oman Football Association, English Premier League Club, Reading FC and the four key sponsors, Nawras, ORPIC, Sohar Aluminium and Vale.

The teenagers receive two hours of instruction from the delivery team including former Leeds United footballer Neil Ross and popular local sports coach Isaaq Al Baloshi. Some of the practical delivery takes place on a specially designed English Double Decker bus.

The programme empowers the young Omani teenagers to be able to deliver coaching sessions to the younger children in their local community. It is intended that the successful Leadership students will become the role models for the younger ones in the local community and will continue to stress the importance of regular exercise.

Each Leadership candidate receives a leadership booklet and needs to complete this to a very high standard to gain the Leadership Level One Award. All of the successful students will be given a scholarship to enable them to spend a day at the Sohar Complex receiving extra coaching tuition and also getting the opportunity to explore possible education and career opportunities in the football/sports industry.

It is hoped that around 1500 Leaders will be created between now and the end of the academic year in May.

Nawras CEO Ross Cormack, said, “This is an incredible opportunity for thousands of young people in Oman to turn their enthusiasm for football into future employment opportunities. Through the development of leadership qualities they can gain a fantastic set of skills to help them open doors and reach their true potential.

Nawras is thrilled to be supporting such an empowering programme that will benefit so many youngsters in the Sultanate.”

Marcos Beluco, Vale’s Country Manager, said, “We are living in a day and age where education is no longer confined to a classroom or a bounded curriculum. Harnessing the passion the youth of Oman have for football, the Leadership Program provides a unique and rewarding experience for this nation’s talent to grow and prosper by giving them the skillsets to further excel in their personal and professional lives.

We are confident that our partnership with Kickworldwide will reach its potential and produce many of Oman’s future leaders.”

Kickworldwide Director Steve Bellis commented “It is fantastic to see the passion for football from the young people in Oman and to be able to convert this enthusiasm into meaningful opportunities. The Leadership programme has the ability to change the lives of thousands of young Omani’s and offer them qualifications and careers in the sports industry. Of course none of this could happen without the sponsorship provided by our friends at Nawras, ORPIC, Sohar Aluminium and Vale.”