Real Skills     Real Play      Real Leadership

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About  |   The Program and Coaches

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Real Skills

The YFI Senators squad is led by very successful, accredited high school coaches.  Those coaches work with Millwall FC and Queens Park Rangers FC coaches to help students improve their game, both on and off the field.


Real Play

Our squad, the YFI Senators, plays with and against academy level peers associated with each pro team that hosts our students.  In addition to regular matches, YFI Senators will compete in the Prince's Trust Football Festival.


Real Leadership

YFI Senators learn what leadership is all about.  They sit in on sessions by coaches, trainers, and management that cover strategy, nutrition, health, and sports psychology.  The squad provides leadership working with children, at-risk youth, and those with developmental disabilities through the community programs of our pro team partners.

See London

London is a remarkable international city, rich with history and iconic sights.  England is also where the rules of modern day soccer (or football) as we know them originated.  Of course, amidst all the training, playing, and leadership activities we have in store, there's no way we'll let squad go back home without seeing some of the sights in London.

A Word from Daniel Edwards

Daniel is a Director and Coach of the College Football Academy for Queens Park Rangers in London, England.  QPR hosted our YFI Senators squad in 2016 and is extremely excited to partner with YFI on such a unique and exceptional opportunity for high school soccer players.

A Word from Richard White

Richard is the Community Development & Health Improvement Manager at Millwall Community Trust.  YFI Senators will leave at the end of the program with an accredited FA (Football Association) Level One Certificate in Coaching Football.

Football is a way of life in England.  It is, after all, the birthplace of modern soccer.  YFI has partnered with two professional football clubs in London, Millwall FC and Queens Park Rangers FC.  2018 marks the second year of its Leadership Through Sportsmanship in London, England for high school girls and boys soccer players.


YFI has been hosting high quality, successful programs for several years in Ghana, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and India and continues to add new and unique programs to its repertoire in various parts of the world.  The 501 c(3) non-profit organization began with public health programs and has since branched out to include this extraordinary soccer program.

Click on images below to view items in PDF format

Soccer Tournament Magazine 2017 Feature Article

Southwark News Millwall Community Article from 2016

YFI Leadership Through Sportsmanship Flyer - Share with your friends!

YFI Leadership Through Sportsmanship Planned Schedule

Millwall Football Club and Queens Park Rangers Football Club Coaches & Representatives

The following individuals serve as Youth Futures International’s (YFI Sports) UK leadership team.  These coaches have been instrumental in ensuring that the YFI Sports ‘Leadership through Sportsmanship’ program held in London is successfully and safely maintained.  We are grateful for their professionalism and expertise, not only in the game of football, but as mentors and role models for all our participants.

Richard White- Millwall FC:


Richard White is the Community Development & Health Improvement Manager at Millwall Community Trust (MCT).  Richard joined as a coach in June 2000 and is now a senior manager at MCT following many years of experience managing successful award winning youth engagement programs in some of the most deprived parts of London that harness the power of sport.  Richard's team provides engagement and diversionary programs for young people and older people which overcome any potential barriers to sports participation.


Richard played as a school boy for Chelsea and Bretford FC before having a knee cartilage injury at the young age of 15.  He recovered in time to secure a 2 year youth team scholarship at Welling United FC.  Richard continued his playing career in semi-professional football with at Dulwich Hamlet, Crawley Town, and Tooting & Mitcham before hanging up his cleats.


His coaching qualifications include a UEFA B coaching certificate.  Aside from his commitments at Millwall, Richard is also Head Coach at Fisher FC.

Leanne Cowan- Level 1 Professional player Millwall Lionesses:


Leanne Cowan is a current and active member of the Millwall Lioness first team professional football club.  She is a shining example to young athletes in dedication and determination to reach her goal as a professional athlete.


Leanne began playing in the Millwall system at the age of 8.  She worked her way through the academy development system during her school years eventually earning a spot in the professional reserves.  Her dream came true when she signed onto the MIllwall Lionesses as a professional first team player.


Leanne also developed her love for coaching and has received her FA Level 2, youth module 1, and has been coaching for the past four years delivering sessions across many different sports such as football, basketball, tennis, hockey and multi-skills.  She has worked both part-time and full-time basis delivering community sessions and currently works full-time delivering physical education in primary schools whilst also running various after school club programs.  Her coaching experience is working with children from the ages of 4 to 18 on a weekly basis.

Pablo Blackwood- Queens Park Rangers FC:


Pablo Blackwood is the Youth & Communities Manager for Queens Park Rangers FC as well as the representative to the Princes Trust Charity UK.  His coaching background is unique and diverse after coaching for over 20 years in grassroots football and youth development phase in elite football.


Pablo has coached abroad on four continents, served as Talent ID & recruitment (scouting) for QPR FC Academy, and received coaching credential level: FA Level 3 (UEFA B), Coach Educator/Tutor/Assessor.


Pablo played International football as a schoolboy (U15) and youth player (U18) and signed for and played youth team football for Chelsea FC.  He played for a number of semi-professional teams in England once injury prevented him going further in the professional game.

Daniel Edwards- Queens Park Rangers, FC:


Danny Edwards serves as the Director of the QPR College Academy.  He currently holds a College Football Manager Coaching credential level of UEFA B.  His vast coaching experience includes QPR College Academy, QPR Youth Team Skills Coach, International work with QPR & the Premier League, Prisons and Youth Offending Institutes, and Children & Adults with physical and mental disabilities programs.


In addition to his coaching experience, he also has professional playing experience with QPR, England Futsal Team, and semi Professional leagues in London.


Danny Edwards is also a popular public figure in the world of Football development and the community and has had the pleasure of working with such football luminaries as David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Neymar, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Eligibility  |   Requirements for Enrolling in YFI Sports Programs

High School Students

We accept high school students who will have completed 9th grade through graduating seniors (generally ages 14-18) by the time the program takes place.  Students should have experience playing soccer as well as an interest in learning about other aspects of sports management (athletic trainers, nutritionists, coaching, etc.).  We also require students to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) that may be cumulative or current, weighted or unweighted.


All students who enroll for Leadership Through Sportsmanship MUST have or obtain the following:

  • Passport, valid for at least 180 days after the arrival date in the UK
  • Tourist visa (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations/Prescriptions: all normal childhood vaccinations (MMR, Tdap, etc.)
  • Air travel to the host country (YFI will provide recommended flights for students to book online, through a travel agent of their choice, or through the travel agency we work with)


Students should be in general good health as the program requires them to be on their feet all day going through coaching exercises and playing in matches.  Basic dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets are generally able to be met.  Those with severe food allergies should consult with YFI prior to enrolling.

Gallery  |  Leadership Through Sportsmanship in Action

Without a doubt, YFI Senators have an amazing time on and off the pitch.  Just see for yourself.  And then imagine the extraordinary opportunity that awaits you next summer!

FAQs  |  Frequently Asked Questions


What age do students have to be?

Leadership Through Sportsmanship is open to all high school boys and girls soccer players, typically 14-18 years old.  This includes students who have completed their first year of high school (9th grade) and those who will have recently graduated from high school prior to the program in 2018.


What can a student gain by participating?

Our athletes improve their skills with the valuable coaching they get from the coaches of the professional teams that partner with us.  In addition, they play matches with and against UK academy level players, which also improves their game.


Off the field, athletes are exposed to various professionals who comprise a team's staff: coaches, managers, trainers, nutritionists, etc.  This exposure gives our athletes insight into careers that they may pursue in sports that do not involve playing professionally.  Classes in nutrition, sports medicine, and sports psychology give athletes foundations for maintaining their well-being.  All athletes leave the program with an accredited FA (Football Association) Level One Certificate to coach soccer.


 Athletes improve their leadership skills both on and off the field.  They're coached on what it means to be a leader on the pitch by being good examples for those that look up to them as well as supporting fellow teammates during play.  Off the pitch, our athletes provide leadership in the community service initiatives of our partner teams.


Will Leadership Through Sportsmanship get me a scholarship to play soccer in college?

This program is designed to motivate and inspire students to work hard, play hard, and be inspirational leaders on and off the field.  It will give them a newfound confidence.  This will allow them to mold themselves into stronger candidates for admission to any college.


YFI does not make any guarantee that participating in Leadership Through Sportsmanship will have any official weight when schools and programs determine who to accept and what athletes coaches recruit and offer scholarship to.  However, we've heard from past participants that the program definitely helped them in their applications for college as well as improve their soccer skills to earn them a spot on a college soccer team.


Where will students stay during the program?

Arrangements will be secured for students and staff to reside at a modern, air conditioned hotel.  Lodging will also be in close proximity to the professional teams that partner with us.  Students will be chaperoned and will travel as a group with YFI staff to all program events.


Strict curfews will be enforced on students throughout their stay, who again will be assigned a specific YFI staff member to report to.


Students will be chaperoned at all times during the program.  Parents will be given contact information to contact YFI staff directly if they cannot reach their child for any reason.


How will students get around during the program?

Students will be accompanied in their group with YFI  staff to and from the program activities via private scheduled transportation or will walk if within close walking distance.  Private motor coaches will be arranged for any excursions or activities to take place outside the area.


What does the tuition include?

Tuition includes all program costs, hotel accommodations, and three meals per day, as well as any local transportation necessary.  It does not include airfare, recommended travel insurance, visa costs (if applicable), passport costs, or spending money.


Should students purchase travel insurance?

There are two types of insurance we HIGHLY recommend obtaining: international health insurance and trip cancellation insurance.


International health insurance covers or reimburses the cost of any healthcare sought in the program's host country.  Many U.S. insurance plans do not cover or reimburse healthcare costs internationally.


Trip cancellation insurance covers the cost invested in the tuition should students not be able to attend due to illness, injury, family emergency, etc.  Tuition is non-refundable which is why we recommend that you protect your investment by obtaining this type of insurance.  YFI doesn't recommend any particular company or another, so feel free to shop around and see what terms and prices are the best fit for you.


What is the refund policy?

Due to the limited spaces available for students, we do not offer refunds once a student has committed to attending this program.


Do you offer scholarships?

Unfortunately, we do not have an endowment fund to allow us to grant scholarships.  However, students often establish gofundme.com campaigns to get help to pay for their tuition.  They also seek out donations from organizations, businesses, doctors, and hospitals within their community.  Previous students have been so successful in fundraising for their trip that they earned enough to pay for everything.


In addition to fundraising, YFI offers discounts on tuition dependent upon dates students enroll by.  Students can also earn $100 for every student they refer to us who also enrolls for any YFI program!


Do students need to obtain a visa?

At this time, U.S. citizens traveling to the UK for tourism purposes do NOT need to obtain a visa.  However, this rule may change.  YFI will notify students of any updated visa requirements as they become available.  Students who are citizens of other countries may be required to obtain a tourist visa.


What vaccinations and immunizations are required?

All students’ routine vaccinations must be up to date.


If students are taking any prescription medicines, they should pack enough for every day they are away from home (16 days), along with an additional 3–4 days’ supply.  Students are required to keep all prescription medications in the original prescription bottles and to always carry those bottles in their carry-on luggage.  Be sure to check TSA guidelines if the medicines are liquids.


What about international safety?

As with travel to any international destination, general awareness, staying within the group as required by program policies, and trained leadership from program staff will greatly reduce the likelihood of any safety concerns.  All staff and students will be trained on safety and security measures as well as plans of response should a safety concern arise either locally or elsewhere within the country.


What if a student becomes ill or injured during the program?

Should a student become ill on the trip, injure themselves, or require medical treatment, the YFI team leader to whom the student is assigned will bring the student to the emergency room and remain with them while parents are contacted immediately.  YFI requires all students who participate in the program to submit emergency contacts and disclose medical conditions, allergies, dietary restrictions and/or special needs, prescriptions, etc. before the trip so that if it becomes necessary for the student to go to the hospital for any reason, our team has all this important information on hand.


Can students bring laptops, tablets, and mobile phones?

Students can bring all of the above. In fact, we encourage all students to bring their mobile phones, laptops (with a laptop chain lock), iPads, iPods and any other portable electronics they want to bring.  Please note, however, that YFI is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items that students bring on the trip.


How much money should I bring?

Students may want to bring pocket money for their own personal expenses, shopping, personal care items, etc. ($250-300 should be more than adequate). Visa and MasterCard is readily accepted for point of sale purchases in stores.  ATM machines readily accept credit and debit cards with Visa and MasterCard logos for cash withdrawal.  Students and families should ask their credit/debit card companies about their international transaction fees and alert them of international travel to avoid security holds.


How will parents and students be able to communicate?

Hotels we house students and staff in provide WiFi which will allow students to keep in touch with home throughout the trip.  Many students also have international mobile service established through their service provider so that they may keep in touch that way as well.


I've never heard of Youth Futures International.  Is the organization and program legitimate?

YES, YFI is legitimate.  You've probably not heard of us because we are a small 501 c(3) organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that does not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct mail marketing and email campaigns.  We're proud that 80% of all the income generated from our programs' tuitions go into the programs themselves, our program development, charity work, and outreach.  The rest of the income allows us to pay a few full-time employees and a few part-time employees who are all dedicated to the mission and vision of this wonderful little non-profit.  For further proof of our validity, check out our certificate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts below.


For-Profit vs. Non-Profit?

YFI is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization in the U.S. based in Massachusetts.  Though we don't pay federal or state taxes, we do pay federal and state employment taxes for our employees.  And though we aren't required to pay sales taxes, we do pay many service taxes associated with airlines, hotels, etc., in the U.S.  Plus, the business we give to stores and various service providers generates revenue that is taxed.


For-profit businesses and organizations pride themselves on being tax-paying organizations, which is great.  They also get to generate profits and spend their money as they please.  As a non-profit, however, YFI is governed by how much of its income goes back into the work it does.


A student who participates in YFI programs, especially those in high school, can often have our organization sign off on paperwork from schools that show he or she earned a certain number of service and/or educational hours associated with YFI programs.  However, our experience has been that public schools and many private schools require that those programs be through non-profit organizations.  Of course, since YFI is non-profit, there's no issue.  However, a for-profit organization's programs will often not be eligible for students to earn those types of hours.


Please note that though YFI is a non-profit, tuition paid to YFI for any of its programs is not tax deductible.  Donations to YFI are tax deductible, but program tuitions are not considered donations as they go to pay for program services provided by YFI.


For further answers to questions, please contact us at:

+1 (413) 658-0224 or email us at info@yfisports.org.

Enroll  |  Join Us on the Pitch July 28-August 13, 2018!

Tuition for Leadership Through Sportsmanship

Ways to Save $


Program Dates

July 28-August 13, 2018

London, England


YFI Referral Program

GET $100 for every person you refer to us for any YFI program, not just Leadership Through Sportsmanship.  Your referrals MUST enroll and pay the applicable deposit for you to earn your referral money.  For more information on other YFI programs, please visit www.YFIexperience.org.  There is no limit on the number of referrals you can make.  Get the Referrals Form by clicking on the image to the right.


Pay Tuition by Check, Money Order or Cashier's Check

Save $100 - Click on the coupon below, print it, and include it with your enrollment forms.  This offer is valid for enrollments paid in full or by payment plan.  If by payment plan, all payments must be made by check, money order, or cashier's check.  This offer may be combined with the referral program.  Only one coupon ($100 discount) allowed per enrollment.


Leadership Through Sportsmanship is open to all high school students, generally age 14-18, who have completed 9th grade through graduating seniors by the time the program takes place.  The program will be held in London, England and is limited to 60 students.


To get the application package, click on the 2018 Application image to the left.  The application is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, download, and print.

Contact  | Get in touch with us.  Follow us.


Phone: +1 (413) 658-0224




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© 2016 Youth Futures International, Inc.

Youth Futures International

6 University Drive, Suite 206-181

Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 USA

Phone: +1 413.658.0224

Fax: +1 413.658.0242