Sunday, 2 July 2017

New Delhi; 2nd July 2017: Premier Skills, in association with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) initiated a coach education programme that aims to bring football enthusiasts together and equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence required to create sustainable communities and a greater understanding of the role football can play in tackling other social issues. This week-long training program for 60 football coaches from the Sports Authority of India, Delhi Soccer Association and Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools came to an end on 2 July at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium amidst a celebratory closing event.
 The Coach Education Programme was led by Jeremy Weeks, Premier Skills Head Coach who was supported by Tom Hughes, an early-years coach with Manchester City in the Community, and Elliot Sutcliffe, a coach with Manchester City. On ground assistance was provided by four Indian Premier Skills coach educators that have supported the programme for over a year.
 Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council that uses football to inspire young people and provides face to face training for local community coaches, youth leaders and teachers with a view to participants cascading their newly acquired skills to their peers and the young people back in their own schools and communities. Premier Skills has already delivered a highly successful programme in India, training 600 coaches, who in turn have reached 30,000 young people since the programme began.
 Premier Skills was launched in 2007 and there are some fantastic success stories from the project, including Premier Skills participants who have gone on to run their own community football programmes, volunteers who now help deliver Premier Skills itself, and coaches who have connected via the project and now run community sport festivals. Since the programme began in 2007, 17,715 coaches and referees have been trained in 29* countries, who in turn have reached 1.5 million young people in 29 countries.

 Tim Vine, Premier League Director of International Relations, said, "Premier Skills is having a significant impact on both the quality and numbers of coaches and referees there are at the grassroots of the game right across India. Utilising highly-skilled Premier League club coaches as trainers, this new phase with the Sports Authority of India took to Delhi for the programme and received a great response. The idea was to further build on the excellent initial work we have done with them in Kerala and Goa over the past three years. 

 "Alongside the separate Premier Skills programme, we are delivering with the Indian Super League and AIFF, this underlines the major contribution the Premier League is making to help grow football across India."

 Alan Gemmell, Director British Council India said, “In the UK-India Year of Culture the British Council is strengthening its relationship with the Sports Authority of India and the All India Football Federation through the Premier skills program. We are delighted to support the training of a new generation of football coaches that aims to connect and inspire young people through sport.”

 Injeti Srinivas, Union Secretary (Sports) cum- Director General, Sports Authority of India said, “Sport is a powerful tool for individual development, youth empowerment, gender equality, social integration, peace and economic development.   Football, which is the most popular sport in the world, is ideally suited to serve as a powerful medium to inculcate sporting culture at individual, community and national level in order to reap the benefits.  I take this opportunity to compliment Premier League and the British Council for running the Premier Skills programme in different parts of the country, which has emerged as a highly successful programme for sports development at the grassroots level.  Sports Authority of India is delighted to partner with them in the Premier Skills Programme.”

 Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation said, “AIFF has been stressing massively on Grassroots Programme and Coach Education in our quest for further development of the game in our Country.  The Premier Skills programme has been on for some time and we will continue to support it. I need to thank the EPL and the British Council for their involvement.”

Notes to Editor

About Premier League

The Premier League is the most watched continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season saw record average stadium occupancy of 96.3% and around the globe the Premier League is broadcast into 900 million homes in 190 countries. The quality of football and the interest that it generates allows the Premier League to support all areas of the sport. This season it will invest in even more community football facilities whilst delivering hundreds of projects, through professional clubs right through the Premier League and Football League, that focus on improving sports coaching and education in schools and inspiring young people to play and benefit from sport.
On top of this, the Premier League supports the wider footballing pyramid, investing in the Football League, the Football Conference and many other football bodies as well as delivering projects such as Premier Skills that aim to help develop the game around the world.
For more, read

About the Coach:

 Jeremy Weeks  
 Jeremy Weeks graduated from Exeter University in 2005 with a Masters in Sport and Exercise Science.  It was during his time at Exeter he began coaching as part of the Community and Academy departments at Exeter City FC.  He also spent two summers coaching in the USA as Head Soccer Coach at Lake Owego Sports Camp in Pennsylvania.
In 2006, Jeremy joined Fulham FC where he spent the next five seasons.  He worked for the Fulham FC Foundation as a Sports Development Officer in the London area, whilst also coaching for the Academy and Girl’s Centre of Excellence.  He became Acting Sports Development Manager in 2009, managing all the football, sport and health related development projects across London and Surrey. 
Jeremy left Fulham FC in May 2011 to join the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee where he was the Paralympic Football Competition Manager.  He was involved in the Olympic Football competition at the 6 stadiums across the UK including Wembley and Old Trafford and managed the Paralympic 5 and 7 a side competitions on the Olympic Park during the Paralympic Games. 
Jeremy has been involved with the Premier Skills programme since 2009 and has since led on the development of the syllabus for Premier Skills as well as creating a programme together with the Premier League for Magic Bus, a sports development charity in India. He currently runs his own sports Consultancy Company called W10 and provides on-going support to the development of the Premier Skills programme.

 Elliot Sutcliffe

Elliot Sutcliffe spent 6 years as a youngster at Rochdale AFC. He went on to study for 4 years at University of Stirling in Scotland where he was part of the team that won the British Universities League and Cup and gained a 2:1 in Journalism and Sport before gaining a scholarship to study/play football at Regis University in Denver, USA. He is currently coach with Manchester City FC.

Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes is an Early Years Coach with Manchester City In The Community. He plans and delivers fun and engaging coaching sessions to 2-5 years’ olds to enhance the fundamental movement skills in each child. Prior to his current role, he has coached football in Dubai for 2.5 years where he was shortlisted for Sport 360 FIT Awards Youth Coach of the Year 2016. Thomas is a Level 2 FA Licensed Coach with a university degree in Sports Coaching and Player Development (Honours).

For Media Queries:

British Council: Aditi Hindwan– 8377001450/

 Sports Authority of India: C Dhandapani, Assistant Director (Media, IT and ICC),

+9196292 78275 /

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources, we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.
Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

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