The Academy offers high-quality academic courses, professional football training, good nutrition, healthcare and support for soft skills. On a typical day, our student-athletes spend their day at the academy from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. After academic lessons at El Massira primary school, they receive lunch, theory lessons, life skills and leadership lessons, as well as professional football training. In the 2019-20 school year, we have 26 boys and 16 girls, ages 8-10, in grades 3 and 4.
LEAD Morocco’s student-athletes are taught by Moroccan teachers and led by professionally accredited Moroccan football coaches. The academy follows the Ministry of National Education’s curriculum and builds on the existing LEAD network to add courses on leadership, entrepreneurship, STEM, health sciences and music.
The academy’s mission is to empower Morocco’s future leaders through quality education and sport. It is therefore essential to ensure that our student-athletes have access to new opportunities – both during their time at LEAD Morocco and when they move onto university and professional employment. As a LEAD academy, we will be able to offer our graduates access to preparatory schools for American universities, global professional football clubs, the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, conferences across the world, and, of course, the best universities and employers in Morocco.
STEP 1 : ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY
To be considered, the applicant must achieve a 50% or higher on the entrance exam, and he/she must show a history of strong academic performance. Education is our top priority, and we must ensure that our student-athletes are equally engaged and capable in the classroom.
STEP 2 : FOOTBALL POTENTIAL
Our coaches observe applicants’ football ability and potential. Applicants are not required to be polished footballers. In fact, they might not have played football before. What we are searching for is children with potential and the determination, enthusiasm, and grit required to succeed as a footballer.
STEP 3: INTERVIEWS
If the applicant meets our academic and football standards, then the applicant and his/her parents are called for an interview with LEAD Morocco staff. These interviews are brief, and their purpose is to give us an understanding of the applicant's home environment. Can he/she study at night? Does he/she have siblings who are in school? Where do his/her parents work? None of these questions are determinant – we do not select our student-athletes based on the answers. Rather, they serve to give us a more complete picture of the applicant's background so that we can more accurately assess the applicant's academic and football potential.
STEP 4: FINAL SELECTION CAMP
After the interviews, we select a final set of applicants for a final selection camp in July. Those pre-selected participate in a normal week of classes, football training, and life skills exercises. This gives us a chance to see them as student-athletes at LEAD Morocco.
STEP 5: THE SELECTION
At the end of the training camp, we hold a final meeting and select the new members of LEAD Morocco. All applicants in this final phase are notified of our final decision.