When Francis Ngannou was still emerging on the MMA scene, he set out with a goal to influence lives back home in his native land of Cameroon. Earlier this year, Ngannou would announce the opening of a gym by the Francis Ngannou Foundation, which follows through on the words Ngannou spoke back in 2016 (via MMAjunkie):
“I want to give some opportunity for children like me who dream of this sport and don’t have an opportunity like me,” Ngannou said. “The last time I was in Cameroon, I brought a lot of materials for boxing and MMA to open a gym. Now I just bought a big space to start the gym, as well.
“A lot of children now in Cameroon, because of me, they have a dream,” he added. “They say, ‘I will be a champion in MMA. I will do boxing like Francis,’ because they saw me when I was young. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any opportunity. And today, they see me, and they are dreaming. They are thinking that something is possible. Even when they are so poor, something is possible in life. … It’s not easy. It’s so hard, but it’s possible.”
But for the gym to be a success, Ngannou will need some help along the way, which will include high-level coaches to teach the underprivileged youth Ngannou’s foundation is attempting to reach. Ngannou recently took to Twitter to make an open call for coaches to take part in this noble project:
🚨 Calling All Coaches 🚨
I need a volunteer coach of BJJ and MMA who can go to Cameroon for at least one year to help develop those disciplines and give an opportunity to kids out there.https://t.co/bR2MbdtLqk Infoline➡️[email protected]
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) March 9, 2019
“Calling All Coaches 🚨
I need a volunteer coach of BJJ and MMA who can go to Cameroon for at least one year to help develop those disciplines and give an opportunity to kids out there.”
Francis Ngannou is continuing to inspire people back home and indeed across the world, most recently defeating a man whom many believe is the greatest talent to ever grace the Octagon, Cain Velasquez, with a first-round knockout victory at UFC on ESPN 1. Perhaps the next Francis Ngannou is in the process of joining this groundbreaking gym, and then perhaps he, too, will pay it forward.
If you are a coach interested in volunteering with the Francis Ngannou Foundation’s Cameroon gym, call (+1)702-355-1838 or e-mail [email protected]