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Student’s football future on target for Rwanda

Student Nathan Green will be teaching Rwandan children how to play football like their hero Didier Drigba

Footballer Nathan Green's life took a different path when an injury scuppered his chances of playing for Premiership side Liverpool.

Nathan, 21, from Flintshire in North Wales, was selected to try out for Liverpool Football Club, amongst other Premiership sides, when he was 15, and trained with the likes of Jay Spearing, who now plays for Liverpool FC's first team in the Premiership.

But a serious knee injury meant that the teenager had to make some tough decisions about his future.

"I am a huge Liverpool fan and football was, and still is, a huge part of my life, so it was an amazing chance for me. It was a very tough decision but after my injury all signs pointed to the safer educational option being the better one."

Now Nathan is about to complete the first year of a history degree at Sussex, and is planning a career in academia or possibly politics.

But football is not forgotten. When studies are finished in July, Nathan will be heading off to Africa as a member of Project Umubano, a volunteer programme that offers medical, legal and educational aid to children in Rwanda.

Nathan will coach youngsters with dreams of emulating their football hero - Chelsea and Ivory Coast player Didier Drogba. He will also be teaching English to children and helping to build new schools.

Nathan first heard about the scheme, a Conservative Party initiative, from his girlfriend's mother, who is a Party member, and decided to give it a try.

Nathan says: "I had to go to Westminster for an interview, and just a small number of us were selected to go this summer for the football side of the project. I'm funding the trip myself, so I've been living pretty frugally the past few months.

"This will be my first time in Africa. It's pretty exciting. I have helped coach a local community side, I have coached football in Berlin and have also received offers to coach schemes in Tokyo. Last summer's World Cup in Africa, however, galvanised my passion for football and its potential for social impact further and it was obvious where coaching was most needed and would be most appreciated."

Nathan is hoping that local businesses and groups will be able to help by donating kit, such as football shirts, shin pads and so on, for the children he will be coaching. So far, Nathan has received donated replica shirts and tracksuits from his former club, Liverpool FC.

If anyone can help Nathan, he can be contacted on 07834473761.


Notes for Editors

 

Project Umubano is the Conservative Party's social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Now in its fourth year, Project Umubano (which means friendship or co-operation in Kinyarwandan, the mother tongue of Rwanda) this year runs 16-30 July 2011. Volunteers are recruited primarily from health, education, business, law and the charity/community sector

For more information please contact Abigail Green at abi.projectumubano@live.co.uk.

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune, Jacqui Bealing and Daniëlle Treanor. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email: press@sussex.ac.uk

View press releases online at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/newsandevents/


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Last updated: Tuesday, 17 May 2011

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