From Youth Work to International Football

We’re delighted to share with you that The Factory Youth Zone’s very own Alec Mudimu has been called up for the Zimbabwe international football team!

Prior to The Factory opening, Alec was thinking about quitting football altogether.  “There was nothing to do in the evenings after school and this led to me and my friends hanging around on the streets,” Alec describes how he spent his time before The Factory Youth Zone opened. “We were young and naïve, often getting in trouble purely out of boredom.”

At age 16, Alec became a member at The Factory Youth Zone, which gave him a place to continue playing and developing his skills. Soon after joining, he was awarded a football scholarship and then a 12 month semi-professional contract with Stalybridge Celtic. This season he joined Welsh Premier League club Cefn Druids where he plays as a midfielder.

Back at The Factory, Alec went on to become a Young Leader through our ‘Learn to Lead’ programme and then became a brilliantly inspiring member of staff.

Alec describes getting involved with The Factory Youth Zone as “quite literally, the best thing ever for me and my friends” (granted, this quote was prior to being scouted by an international team!). He talks about how The Factory has everything a young person could ask for, from football, to a gym, to a climbing wall – but most importantly to providing people like Alec and his friends with role models. 

Last week, Alec was called up by the Zimbabwe National Football Team to play in a four-nation tournament alongside Zambia, Angola, and South Africa. Alec told the BBC that being called up was “unbelievable” and that his sister and grandmother were in tears when they heard the news. “It’s not every day that you get a national team manager calling you saying that you’ve been selected for national duty.”

Alec has been an amazing member, leader and staff member at The Factory and we wish him all the best in his next chapter. In Alec’s own words, he has become a role model to the young people, and by sharing his story with them, has helped many young people aspire to do great things in their lives.