Premier Skills returns to Cape Town

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world. It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English. Premier Skills is a proven model, influencing institutional approaches to social action through football as well as providing direct training to coaches and referees.

Since Premier Skills began in 2007, 17,715 coaches and referees have been trained in 29* countries, who in turn have reached 1.5 million young people. 6,000 teachers have received training in the use of the Premier Skills English materials, with 6.5 million views of the materials online.

Through Premier Skills English, teachers and learners of English are given free, compelling learning materials, drawing on football-based content from the most exciting football league in the world. Over the next three days, we are going to be giving you a little insight into the work of the Premier Skills as we are big fans of any sport development in our country. Today we will introduce it here on Sports 24 Seven, tomorrow we will share a case study and on Friday morning an interview with local coach assistant Liezl from Soweto.

The Cape Town Premier Skills programme is taking place until 5 August 2017 at the Ikamva Home of Ajax Cape Town with intensive training for 60 grassroots coaches and 24 referees from the Western Cape area. The training is being led by head coach Graham Robinson, a Premier Skills Head Coach with the support of Ben Gibson from Stoke City, and Gary Walton from Middlesbrough Foundation.

All coaches involved in Premier Skills have a UEFA recognised coaching qualification. The Premier Skills coaches will be joined by SAFA instructors to ensure that the graduates from the programme will be licensed with SAFA Coaching and Refereeing licences.

The Premier Skills programme combines the reach of the British Council with the global appeal of the Premier League to use soccer to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.  The programme brings together Premier League’s proven expertise in delivering community focused soccer projects with the British Council’s on the ground presence and unrivalled experience of developing and implementing cultural relations programmes worldwide. By providing expert training to young coaches and referees Premier Skills programme offers valuable skills development and a clear understanding of how to set up sustainable community projects at grassroots level using soccer to tackle issues such as health, disability, gender issues, social inclusion and education.

The course at the Ikamva Home of Ajax Cape Town is being jointly organised by the British Council, Premier League and SAFA.

British Council South Africa work with SAFA alongside six NGO partner organisations and local football associations: Grassroots Soccer, Oasis, Score, Arise Community Development Project, Ambassadors Football, Football Foundation and Ajax Cape Town Football Club. Coaches who will join the Premier Skills programme and train to become either community coaches or coach educators are sourced through these organisations.

CEO of the SAFA Development Agency, Dr Robin Petersen said:

“Our longstanding partnership with the Premier Skills programme has allowed us further to achieve our goal of training 10,000 coaches per annum across the country.  Linking these coaches to our local structures and NGOs ensures that the skills learned are put to use in the best possible manner.”

Premier League Director of International Relations, Tim Vine said:

 “Premier Skills has already had a massive impact in South Africa where we have run the programme since 2013. We have trained some hugely talented and passionate community coach educators and referees, who are now passing on their experience to a new cohort of men and women making their first steps into football coaching.

“This new first phase course to Premier Skills in South Africa will triple the size and impact of what we are doing in the country. Cape Town and the wider Western Cape has always been a significant focus for our work, and I am sure this next course will create a large number of new SAFA-accredited coaches across the region, who will go on to make a major difference to the lives of young people around them.”

British Council Country Director, Colm McGivern said:

“We’re searching for community soccer superstars, leaders, inspirational coaches who can make a big difference at the heart of their community in Western Cape.  The Premier Skills programme is like a goal in extra-time…Just what you need; changes games, and sometimes changes lives!”

For more on Premier Skills visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/sport/current-programmes/premier-skills.

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