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Building Youth Life Skills through Football

Joint projects aimed to support and develop the skills of disadvantaged youth through football

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On 5 June, during an official visit to Tunisia, Mr Alistair Burt, UK government minister responsible for North Africa and the Middle East took part in a Premier Skills football training session.

Premier Skills is a partnership between the British Council and the Premier League which uses football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people through face-to-face training for coaches and referees, using highly skilled coaches and referee trainers from the Premier League and its clubs. The participants are then supported in developing their own community football projects.

The project 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. Premier Skills focuses on community football coach and referee development, nurturing at the grassroots level.

“Football is really important, it teaches youngsters how to talk to each other, how to communicate, how to make decisions and how respect the decisions of the coach and the referee. It teaches them all sort of things that are important in life”, says Mr Burt following a mini tournament during the visit.

In Tunisia, the programme has offered face to face training to over 70 aspiring Tunisian football coaches and 20 professional and amateur referees from across the country to lead community based training sessions. The training from the Premier League community coaches has given the Tunisian coaches the skills and the confidence to implement community focused football projects tackling a variety of complex issues, such as health, disability, gender, inclusion, anti-social behaviour and education.

Over 23,000 people have been reached indirectly via Premier Skills activities aimed at curbing social exclusion and anti-social behaviour between November 2012 and March 2013.

Since the first pilot in 2007, the project has been delivered across 20 countries: Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia (including Libyan participants), Uganda and Vietnam.

Premier Skills is linking communities in the UK with communities worldwide to build ground-breaking partnerships and establish projects that engage youth at risk.

The Premier League is an English professional league for men’s association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country’s primary football competition.

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. The British Council is a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. At least 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

For more information, please visit the British Council website. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through twitter and their blog.

Published 7 June 2013
Last updated 10 June 2013 + show all updates
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