LONDON, Oct. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council globally, and the Federation of University Sports of China in China, was launched in Suzhou, China, for the first time today. The initiative is taking place at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) from 20 to 26 October, bringing intensive football coach training to 32 participants selected from schools across China.
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.
The Suzhou course will be led by the British Council's Football Development Manager and Premier Skills Head Coach Warren Leat, with support from community coach Dan Rook from Portsmouth Football Club.
The course aims to provide the trainees with the skills and support to develop their own campus football projects. This will help the grassroots football coaches to cascade their newly acquired skills to others, leading to sustainable benefits for the growth of the game in China, and raising awareness of the health and education benefits of sport.
Through Premier Skills, young people are given the opportunity to develop their skills for employability and to raise their self-esteem.
Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said: "At home, the Premier League and our clubs have a long-held commitment to delivering high-quality community and education programmes. Given our international reach, it is only right that we instil these objectives globally through Premier Skills. Since Premier Skills began in 2007, 17,715 coaches and referees have been trained in 29* countries and regions, who in turn have reached 1.5 million young people."
Jazreel Goh, Director of Education Operations and Sports at the British Council in China, said: "Since 2009, when it first launched in China, Premier Skills has achieved huge impact, with more than 1,700 coaches trained across 22 Chinese cities* and nearly half a million young people reached. By 2020, we aim to train another 5,000 coaches and referees in China, benefitting an estimated 5 million children and young people with quality football training. Through this long-term commitment, we hope that Premier Skills will make a lasting contribution to growing grassroots football in China."