A football player doesn’t only depend on their sporting attributes on the pitch, but also needs to have the skills to be competitive out of the stadium. For those who start playing football, English can be the key to access to new opportunities. Or, to put it another way, it can be like a Goal to the Future.
For that reason, the British Embassy Montevideo awarded 50 scholarships in December 2014, to young people between 15 and 19 years old playing in the youth divisions of professional football clubs to attend English summer courses at the Instituto Cultural Anglo-Uruguayo.
The athletes received their course completion certificates from the Ambassador, Ben Lyster-Binns; Fernando Cáceres, National Director of Sports and Pablo Hernández, Coordinator-General of “Goal to the Future”.
The recipients of the diplomas participate in this Ministry of Tourism and Sports programme, that helps develop young football players through education, health and sports.
“As I mentioned in December when we awarded these scholarships, the fact of learning English is very important” Ben Lyster-Binns said. “English language will be important for you when you play in the Premier League!” joked the Ambassador. “But seriously, whatever you do, English is the universal language and it will be useful for you to speak it.”
Mr Cáceres highlighted the importance of learning the language. “In today’s world, if we don’t know English and we don’t have IT skills it’s as if we were illiterate”, he said.
Mr. Hernández referred to the achievement of the young footballers as “a reward”, because “sports and education enhance every person”, as he said. “Just 1% of all those who pursue a professional football career will make it through. But Goal to the Future seeks to reach the other 99%”, Mr. Hernández remarked.
“This opportunity that the Embassy gave me was excellent. I learnt a lot, and I encourage other participants to enroll to attend the English courses” said Yamila Badell, one of the athletes.
“Goal to the Future” currently includes 3500 young people who have dropped out of school or are at risk of doing so. The British Embassy is pleased to have been able to support this initiative on several occasions since it began in 2009.