Premier Skills Phase 2 training kicks off in India

Monday, 2 November 2015

The second phase of the hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council will take place from 2 to 7 November 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala at Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE). 

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council. It uses football as a tool to help develop both community coaching and English language skills. The programme trains sports coaches, referees and youth leaders, enhancing their existing football skills, whilst also developing their leadership skills and a greater understanding of the role football can play in tackling other social issues.

In November 2014, for the Phase 1 training, coaches and referees of the Premier Skills Kolkata Goalz programme, belonging to Kerala Football Association, Goa Football Association, Sports Authority of India, and  three NGOs, were trained at Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), Kerala.  Phase 2 consists of two training programmes: Coach Education (2 – 7 November 2015) and Referee Development (2 – 4 November 2015). The coach education programme will be attended by 36 Indian coaches and 24 Indian referees will participate in the referee programme. These coaches and referees (from Goa and Kerala) have been chosen from the Phase 1 participants. 

During the programme, the coaches and referees will receive training from qualified Premier Skills coaches, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects and development as referees and coaches. The coaches’ training programme will be led by experienced Premier Skills Head Coach Jeremy Weeks supported by Robert Perret, Sports Development Manager with Crystal Palace FC Foundation and Cheryl Edwards, Community Coach at Aston Villa Football Club. The referee training programme will be led by Graham Laws, Referee Coach at Professional Game Match Officials Limited supported by Michael Edward Murphy, Assistant Referee Coach. 

The training will end with a demonstration of skills that the coaches and referees have learnt over the course of the programme. This will be showcased on Friday 6 November and Sunday 7 November, at SAI, LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram. 

The course in Thiruvananthapuram is being jointly organised by the British Council and Premier League in association with Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA).

In addition to coaching, a range of free materials, including a dedicated website, has been created under Premier Skills for teachers and learners of English that utilise exciting Premier League content and the British Council’s world-class expertise in English.

Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said:

“I am thrilled that Premier Skills will return to India this week for Phase 2 of the project. In the UK, Premier League clubs have a long-held commitment to investing in and supporting local community and education programmes and that is now being mirrored internationally, with Premier Skills operating in 25 countries. Given the increasing interest in football in India we are proud to support the country’s growing enthusiasm for the sport by providing more highly trained coaches and referees to pass on their expertise through Premier Skills.”

Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India, said:

“We are delighted to present Premier Skills, Phase 2 training programme, our very successful partnership project with the Premier League in South India. It combines English and football, two universal languages and with the support of our local partners in India — Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA) — we have been able to provide this opportunity. As part of Phase 2 training, the Coach Education and Referee Development programmes will be attended by successful coaches and referees from Phase 1 of the project. We hope the coaches and referees find this training useful and are able to make the most impact in their respective communities”.

The Programme 

Coach Education Programme: 2 - 7 November 2015

The Coach Education curriculum aims to develop a group of local master trainers at the end of the programme. It will help to develop community coach skills and knowledge. The training will be in three parts, over 18 – 24 months and involves attendance at and graduation from each part of the training. There will be learning and practical tasks that must be completed between each of the training. Those that are successful will need to demonstrate continued progress throughout the 3 Phases and with the tasks that they will be asked to complete between the training phases. Successful Phase 3 Graduates will become Premier Skills Coach Educators - and they will have an opportunity to train and develop new Premier Skills Community Coaches to support the work of their organisation.

Referee Development programme: 2 - 4 November 2014

The Referee Development programme is a two phase programme which offers participants an introduction to refereeing at grassroots level. Participants include referees that are already working in community football programmes but who have received minimal or no formal training to improve their refereeing skills and knowledge.

Notes to Editor

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.

It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English. 

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

Premier Skills is a proven model, influencing institutional approaches to social action through football as well as providing direct training to coaches and referees.

Since the first pilot in 2007, the project has been delivered across 29 countries: Afghanistan, Botswana, Brazil, Burma, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia (including Libyan participants), Uganda, USA, Vietnam and Zambia.

By 2016, Premier Skills aims to engage at least 50 policy-makers in football as a tool for development, to train at least 3,000 coaches and referees and through them reach more than 300,000 young people.

Through Premier Skills English, teachers and learners of English are given free, compelling learning materials, drawing on football-based content from the most exciting football league in the world.

For more on Premier Skills visit:

To find out more about the football-focused English content and to view the materials online, visit

The Premier League is involved in a wide range of community projects both in the UK and overseas.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

The British Council was established in India in 1948. We are recognised across India for our network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.