September 23 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Sunday, April 13, 2014
A football coach from Canning Town is one of 1,000 Londoners whose stories are being shared in a series of online short films.
George Chukwuma, 26, describes how his dreams of becoming a professional footballer led him to coach the next generation of West Ham players in a film made by Chocolate Films for its 1,000 Londoners documentary project which profiles the lives of people living in the city.
His film has been chosen as one of ten to launch the project at BAFTA later this month, and George says that he hopes it will inspire youngsters in the borough.
“Newham is not the most privileged borough and coming out and sharing my story shows people that you can get a decent job, earn a decent wage and be happy doing something that you love doing,” he said. “It might not be the greatest or most inspiring story but hopefully it is something that people can relate to.”
The three-minute film shows, narrated by George, includes footage of him playing as youngster.
He also describes how he was scouted by Arsenal when he just was 14-years-old but realised that he was not going to make it while he was at university and ended up discovering a passion for coaching.
“I just wanted some volunteer hours but seeing the work I was doing and the difference that I was making made me want to do more,” George said.“I had to be realistic about my own chances and I now want to work with youngsters to make it and help them reach their dreams because I couldn’t.”
George has worked at West Ham since 2007 and is currently a community sports officer, focusing on social inclusion, liasing with sports teachers in Newham and neighbouring boroughs to get sessions up and running.
“It is not just about the ones who make it and I always want to make sure that the ones I am working closely with have the help and support they need, whatever happens to them,” he added.
George’s film will go live on the 1,000 Londoners website on April 24. A film about a new Londoner will then be uploaded each week.
For more information, visit 1000londoners.com