The Premier Skills programme will take place from 25th March to 1st April 2017 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium with intensive training for KwaZulu Natal 60 grassroots soccer coaches and 24 referees.
The training will be led by head coach Graham Robinson, a Premier Skills head coach with the support of community coaches from the UK.
In addition, it will focus on linking 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. Under the current phase of the programme, more than 1,100 coaches and referees have been trained.
By providing expert training to young coaches and referees Premier Skills offers skills development and an 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 Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban is being jointly organised by the British Council, Premier League and the South Africa Football Association (SAFA).
British Council South Africa work with SAFA alongside six Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partner organisations and local football associations to source the individuals that will join the Premier Skills programme and train to become either community coaches or coach educators.
The partner NGOs in Durban are Amazulu FC, Whizz Kids United, Peace Players, Mtubatuba Football Academy, Benevolent Sports, Special XI F.C and Phinduvuye Community Development.
Robin Petersen, CEO of the SAFA Development Agency 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.”
Tim Vine, Premier League director of international relations said: “Premier Skills has already had a huge impact around the world and more specifically in South Africa where we have run the programme since 2013. We have trained some hugely talented and passionate community coaches and referees, who are now passing on their experience to a new cohort of coaches coming into the game for the first time.
“This new phase to Premier Skills in South Africa will triple the size and impact of what we are doing in South Africa, as we bring out Premier League club coaches to work alongside our South African coach educators to deliver SAFA-accredited courses to a raft of new participants. We are looking forward to kicking this new process off in Kwa-Zulu Natal, a new part of the country for Premier Skills, and in the impressive setting of the Moses Mabhida Stadium.”
Colm McGivern, British Council country director said: “Football is like the 12th official language in South Africa, so I’m delighted to launch Premier Skills here for a second, bigger run. There is no more powerful way in which we can connect with young people in communities across the country. Working with grass-roots coaches and referees, the programme develops their leadership skills, which in turn they use in their own communities. We’re proud to partner with SAFA and local NGOs – which also knows the powerful role coaches can play in the lives of those they reach with their inspirational work.”