Local to global

What do western Kenya, downtown Chicago and China's schools have in common? They all benefit from Premier Skills community projects.

Premier Skills is the Premier League’s lead international development project. Working together with the British Council since 2007, the scale and reach of the investment and delivery of Premier Skills has grown each year.

Premier Skills has three key elements:

  • Training coaches and referees to run their own football projects
  • Setting up community projects based on the Premier League Kicks model
  • Producing football-based materials that inspire thousands to learn and teach English
Training coaches in Afghanistan

Amongst the many developments in the last season, exciting new projects have been created in communities as diverse as western Kenya, downtown Chicago and across China’s schools.

Kenya Premier league skills project

The Kenya Premier Skills project tackles issues of violence against girls and women. Premier League coaches from Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion will provide training for 47 Kenyan football instructors and referees. These trainee coaches will learn the skills and get the support to run football activities in their communities. Hayley James who is an Outreach Development Officer at West Bromwich Albion’s Foundation, has delivered Premier Skills training in Kenya, and Indonesia, summing up her time in the latter when she said:

“Seeing the commitment of the people we train to making a difference to others is hugely rewarding. In Jakarta I was training university students to deliver inclusive football sessions to street children and youngsters on the margins of society. Despite being so young, these coaches were eager to learn and determined to improve themselves for the benefit of those around them.”

Premier Skills also has an impact on issues beyond football. Elizabeth Njeri Nyaga is one of the Kenyan coaches involved and described the impact of the DfIF-funded Premier Skills project by stating: “By coaching both boys and girls, it shows people that girls can do what boys can do. Having male coaches talking about difficult issues will influence other men. Victims and survivors [of violence against girls and women] will learn their rights and avenues for moving forward”

Kenyan children playing football

British Council Chief Executive Ciaran Devane said: “Premier Skills has had great success around the world in helping young people gain the skills to reach their full potential. Through working to reduce violence and gender discrimination, I’m sure this project will do the same for the women and girls of western Kenya.”

In Chicago, Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire want to replicate the Premier League Kicks model by turning a passion for soccer into programmes that improve the lives of local people. Using the power of sport to break down barriers between the community and police, the project is creating safer, more respectful communities. It is already showing similar signs of success to other ‘Kicks Inspired’ schemes in Brazil, Indonesia and India.

Prince William attending a Premier Skills event in Shanghai

And in China, Prince William saw for himself the role Premier Skills is playing in training PE teachers to become better football coaches whilst he attended a Premier Skills event in Shanghai. In a new partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education, Premier Skills is now incorporated into the Chinese curriculum to help teachers and coaches to deliver community and school football programmes. Premier Skills aims to engage up to 1.2 million young students in China by the end of 2016.

Next article Clubs delivering through schools as 'club hubs' Manchester United stars showcased the work of their Foundation at local schools this season Read more

Explore more

Robbie Fowler with Indian premier league fans The Fans

Global events with a local impact

Our exciting in-country events like Barclays Premier League Live helps fans worldwide get closer to the action

Jermaine Jenas at a training pitch The Communities

Delivering Participation

Jermaine Jenas sees how our investment in first-class facilities is developing all levels of the game. Watch the video.

Wilfried Zaha at Premier League Kicks The Communities

Inspiring young people through football

Wilfried Zaha goes back to his roots at Premier League Kicks in South London. See the Match of the Day video.