English Premier League & British Council Support ‘Premier Skills’ Initiative to Use Football to Develop UAE Youth Skills

Over 1,100 coaches in 20 countries engaged in the Premier Skills programme targeting 500,000 young people
London, United Kingdom, Dubai, UAE, 14 February 2013 – The English Premier League, Bolton Wanderers FC and the British Council today unveiled their support the ‘Premier Skills Community Coaching Initiative’, an innovative programme that will use football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people in the UAE.

The English Premier League’s Premier Skills Programme will be visiting Dubai from March 30 to April 4, 2013, to look at the scenario and challenges in the UAE in using football for education and social inclusion, as well as to explore the scope for a Premier Skills project between the UAE and the UK. 
Between 2010-2013, more than 1,100 coaches are being trained and by the summer of 2013 the target of the Premier Skills programme is to reach more than 500,000 young people through coaches in 20 countries, including the UAE.
In partnership with E-Sports the six-day, full-time Programme, to be held at GEMS World Academy, will offer students aged 16 and above a community coaching award endorsed by and branded under the English Premier League.
Ian Laithwaite – Head of Bolton Wanders Community Trust said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in the UAE to gain an internationally recognised qualification and also enhance their personal profile with a worldwide football brand.”
Since the first pilot in 2007, Premier Skills has been delivered across 20 countries, including Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Korea, Sudan, Tunisia (including Libyan participants), Uganda and Vietnam.
James Tucker, Director of Education, Bolton Wanderers Football Club said: “This innovative programme we are unveiling today in the UAE uses the ‘football for good’ concept, leveraging the interest in the Premier League to address wider educational and social issues in local communities. This concept is being successfully delivered by Premier League clubs across the UK.”
“The programme is about learning from some of the innovative and successful work being delivered in the UK and applying some of the learning to the UAE,” added Tucker.
Tucker added: “UAE partners will play a crucial role in the Premier Skills programme. Premier Skills looks to work with existing partners, programmes or networks to build on the current work and look to share expertise and training in ‘football for good’. We are looking for UAE partners who have an interest in supporting the concept of Football for Good and community development. These partners will provide access to venues and equipment which can be used during the course. Other roles could be around putting forward participants to attend the course as well as access to networks of community coaches or sports clubs. The important aspect is that partners have the potential to apply and embed the learning from the course within their networks and in local communities.”
Premier Skills will use the global pulling power of football as a tool for the development of wider skills, community development and English Language learning.  It builds upon research that shows there is a high demand worldwide for community coaching and leadership development through sport.