News story

Major UK funding boost for grassroots football in China

Chancellor announces £3 million funding for a grassroots football programme in China.

A revolutionary grassroots football programme in China is set to receive a £3 million funding boost, supporting thousands of young people, the Chancellor has announced today (23 Sept 2015).

Speaking during a visit to the Soong Ching Ling Football School in Urumqi as part of a weeklong tour of China, the Chancellor announced new funding to provide training for over 5,000 new football coaches, significantly increasing Chinese awareness of the thriving football sector in the UK.

The extension of the highly successful Premier Skills football coaching programme, run by the British Council and the Premier League, will also see it reach the rural province of Xinjiang for the very first time.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

Grassroots football plays an instrumental role in UK life, and it is brilliant to be able to spread that to China. This fantastic scheme which will bring new opportunities to young people across China will also help bring increased awareness and investment into the UK football sector.

The deal we’ve been able to do here is just one example of the ways we can work together with China to benefit both our nations – and I look forward to seeing the results.

The initiative, which started in 2008, focuses on creating new coaches and referees across the world and inspiring young people to get involved in football. So far the programme has trained 1,100 coaches and reached nearly 500,000 young people in China.

The announcement follows a new agreement between the British and Chinese governments to work together in developing sports education including new collaborations on sports policy, the training of coaches and referees and a new joint accreditation in football coaching for PE teachers.