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Premier League and Bollywood stars attend Premier Skills event

24 Feb

Former Premier League players Nemanja Vidic and Garry Monk join Indian actor Ranveer Singh at Premier Skills Showcase to encourage aspiring football coaches and players

Premier Skills, the referee and coach development programme run by the Premier League and the British Council, received a surprise visit from former Manchester United player Nemanja Vidic, former Swansea FC player and manager Garry Monk and Indian film actor and official ambassador for the Premier League in India Ranveer Singh yesterday..

The three stars attended a special event to showcase the Premier Skills programme, which sees Premier League Club coaches provide face to face training and education materials to participants who will then be able to use and share their newly acquired skills to develop and co-ordinate projects in their own schools and communities. Premier Skills began running in India in 2007 and has already delivered a highly successful programme in India, training more than 1,500 coaches and referees, who in turn have reached more than 78,660 young people to date.

At today’s event coaches representing eight ISL clubs along with four female coaches from Sports Authority of India (SAI) were coaching 80 young people from the OSCAR Foundation, Arsenal Soccer Schools and the St Andrews school.

Premier Skills is delivered in India in partnership with the SAI, AIFF and the ISL and a number of other sport NGOs including the OSCAR foundation and Magic Bus. In 2014 the Premier League signed a cooperation agreement with the ISL, which sees the organisations work together to develop football in India at both grassroots and elite level.

Through Premier Skills Premier League Club coaches provide face to face training and education materials to local aspiring coaches, who will then be able to use and share their newly acquired skills to develop and co-ordinate projects in their own schools and communities.

12 cities in India have hosted Premier Skills since 2007: New Delhi, Kolkata, Kozhikode (formerly Calicut), Goa, Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum), Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jamshedpur, Pune, Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi. The programme will expand to Guwahati later this year.

Through Premier Skills, young people, often including the most vulnerable in society, are given opportunities to become better integrated into their local communities, to develop their skills for employability and to raise their self-esteem.

Nemanja Vidic said: “I was really impressed by everything I saw today. The coaches do a fantastic job and the children showed some skills – they certainly kept me on my toes. Premier Skills is really important as the more qualified coaches there are then the better training the young players receive, which will all lead to more of fun opportunities for football in India.”

Tim Vine, Premier League Director of International Relations said: “Today was a great opportunity to introduce Ranveer, Nemanja and Garry to the programme and see the huge impact Premier Skills is having in India. We have been running a hugely successful programme in India for ten years now and during that time have seen some fantastic coaches and referees come through”.

Alan Gemmell OBE, Director of the British Council in India said: “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the British Council in India and we have been inspired every day of those 70 years by the young people we have met. Our goal in India is to provide greater opportunity for young people. Over the last 10 years through our partnership with the Premier League and the community coaching programmes we have run together through the Premier Skills Programme, we have benefitted more than 78,000 young people by developing their life and employability skills and building greater engagement and confidence of girls through football.”

AIFF have accredited the Premier Skills Phase 1 training as equivalent to their D Licence certification. Candidates who successfully complete the Phase 1 course will further be able to apply for an AFC C Certificate course after a period of three months of successfully completing the Phase 1 course.

Premier Skills uses football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world, drawing upon the global appeal of the Premier League and its expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network and track record of delivery.

This event was part of the wider activities taking place in Mumbai during the Football Movement conference, hosted by the Premier League and Department for International Trade to bring key stakeholders and organisations together to discuss ways to grow the game in India.

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