Reading Football Club have now been involved in the International Community Development programme ‘Premier Skills’ for almost five years, playing a key role in the project which is an international partnership between the Premier League and the British Council now operating in 20 countries across the world!
Since the project began its evolution, a series of week-long training activities – for local community-level coaches and referees – which are delivered by UK coaches, have benefited 2,300 grassroots coaches and referees. In turn they have gone on to work with more than 400,000 young people.
Paul Hughes, Reading Football Club’s Community Trust Assistant Manager, represented the club out in Malaysia last summer where he has helped to deliver the new Phase 3 element of the ‘Premier Skills’ programme in Kuala Lumpur. Phase 3 focuses on building the capacity for football coaching in these countries, through upskilling previously trained Phase 1 and Phase 2 coaches.
Twelve coaches from a number of community groups in the Malaysian capital were specifically selected to attend the week-long course, in which they were taught about understanding adult learning principles, how to structure classroom-based learning, learner assessment techniques and what it takes to be an effective Premier Skills coach educator.
We then returned to Malaysia towards the end of the year to help those coaches deliver an Introduction to Premier Skills Coaching course to 24 new budding community coaches.
“The passion and enthusiasm for English football is unbelievable,” Hughes told the matchday programme earlier this season. It has been a great privilege to represent both Reading Football Club and the Premier League through this programme and it was great to go back to see what development the coaches have made and assess the long lasting impact they are looking to make back in their communities.
“As a Trust, our motto is to ‘Care, Develop and Educate’ and this programme is a fine example of us demonstrating this philosophy and concept within a wider community context.”
More than 6,000 teachers have received face-to-face training in the use of English language materials made available from the dedicated Premier Skills English website. The site now has 300,000 unique visitors.
In 2012, the Kickz initiative was ‘exported’ by Premier Skills and four pilot projects are now in place in Brazil, India and Indonesia, building long-term partnerships that aim to change the lives of thousands of people.