Sunday,17 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013
Sunday,17 December, 2017
Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013

Ahram Weekly

English and football

A new Premier Skills workshop is currently being held

Al-Ahram Weekly

At the Movenpick Hotel in Media City a one-week intensive training programme for 30 grassroots football coaches brings together coaches from across Egypt --Cairo, Alexandria, Minya, Aswan, Luxor, Assiut and Qena governorates.
The workshop, which ends tomorrow, is being led by head coach Jeremy Weeks. Weeks was Paralympics football competition manager at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He is aided by Andy Martino and Jack Day, community coaches from Southampton and Stoke City respectively. All the coaches involved in Premier Skills are UEFA qualified.
Jointly organised by the British Council, the Premier League and Ministry of State of Sports, Premier Skills launched its first phase in Egypt 2007. In its second phase, which began in 2010, small grants were presented to 41 coaches from Ard Al-Lewa, Omernya, Al-Haram, Al-Wara’a, Helwan, Manshiet Nasser, Azrita, and Amerya to initiate and develop community projects through football.
“At home the Premier League and our clubs have a long-held commitment and reputation for delivering high quality community and education programmes,” said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore. “Given our popularity and success internationally we felt it only right to take this approach to a wider community.
“Premier Skills has already taken place in 20 countries, developing over 1,100 new coaches all over the world under the current phase alone. These coaches have already delivered work that has benefited a further 400,000 young people. This second stage of the project in Egypt this week will build on these achievements, further developing the skills of some of the most promising coaches that we have worked with,” Scudamore added.
Premier Skills combines the reach of the British Council with the global appeal of the Premier League to use football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world. Drawing upon the Premier League domestic expertise, it uses football to tackle a variety of social issues in the community, such as health, disability, gender, inclusion and education.
In addition to coaching, a range of materials, including a dedicated website, have been created for teachers and learners of English that utilise football-based content and the British Council’s world-class expertise in English.
“Our purpose is to connect people in the UK to people in other countries and football is a great way to do that,” said British Council Chief Executive Martin Davidson. “We are therefore proud of Premier Skills, our partnership with the Premier League, and I am delighted that the second phase of this unique project, which combines English and football – two truly universal languages – is being launched in Egypt. This second stage of training will build upon the excellent work already done in Egypt giving the coaches further skills to use in their communities to develop community action projects.”
Premier Skills has already had a tremendous impact in 20 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Since 2007 Premier Skills has created training opportunities benefitting 2,300 grassroots coaches and referees who in turn have reached more than 400,000 young people.
Under the programme 6,000 teachers have received face-to-face training in the use of the Premier Skills English materials, applying these in the classroom to reach thousands of pupils. In addition there have been 3.5 million views of the English materials online.
In 2010 an enhanced coaching offer and new referee coaching element was added to the programme, as well as a new community project element based on the Premier League’s highly successful UK Kickz programme, linking UK community projects run by Premier League clubs to similar projects in other countries, building long-term partnerships that aim to change the lives of thousands of people.
The target by summer 2013 is for Premier Skills to have reached more than 500,000 young people through the coaches, and to provide access to English language material for millions of teachers and students of English worldwide.
Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people. The hugely successful Premier skills initiative is run by the Premier League and the British Council.

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