Sport or school? We choose both.
“When the child knows that education is a pathway to football, it changes their perspective of education. Their passion to education changes from just being something, to what they need to have, and it becomes a drive.
For us, football is a development key, making their dreams come true and giving them more possibilities through education.”
This is how the Head of our Academy in Egypt, Farrah Ragai describes the relationship between football and education at Right to Dream. Intertwined.
And while some may see that pursuing football and education at the same time is a heavy lifting, Ragai believes it lifts a huge pressure off the students.
“They are not anxious about doing school only or doing football only. That’s a huge pressure that’s lifted off them. They get to see that they have both. They didn’t have a system that makes both available on the same level,” Ragai said.
Our student-athletes are immersed with the highest level of education, football, and character curriculums across our academies from day 1.
And besides the option of pursuing a professional football pathway through our club in Denmark, FC Nordsjaelland, our student-athletes can choose to embark on an academic pathway, one that opens doors to scholarships into top colleges and universities across the US and UK, preparing them for their chosen career journey, which can also connect back into pro football, like RTD graduate Ousseni Bouda, who was picked in the 2022 MLS draft by San Jose Earthquakes Soccer whilst studying at Stanford University.
“Our education incorporates arts, visuals, computers, discussions, and games. It’s not a teacher-led classroom environment. It’s a student-led environment.
We meet the child where he is. This is one of our goals for their education in Right to Dream. We have a lesson plan for the whole class, and we have extra work for the weak students, and we have extra work for the highly achievable kids,” Ragai said.
Ragai is no stranger to the education system. She’s been working in the field her whole life – A teacher, a school head, and educational therapist, she has done it all. And during the past few months at Right to Dream, she worked directly with professional coaches. And while they’re of different professional natures, she can see they share a lot of similarities. They complement each other.
“I realized that anybody who teaches, coaches, trains, parents, they have the same perspective and need the same skills to develop children and individuals. Those who work on developing children in any area they have to be tolerant, passionate, and have perspective to goals.
“I noticed that the impactful coaches have similar characteristics with impactful teachers. They both have a plan and follow it. They check in with the child,” she added.
And while it’s been only four months since 39 student-athletes have started their journeys towards their respective dreams in our Egypt Academy, Ragai can already see progress.
“There're boys who didn’t see education as important and now they’re curious and inquisitive to learning and knowledge. It’s mind blowing,” Ragai added.