Premier Skills deemed a success

by Sunderland AFC

Programme drawn to conclusion in Africa.

The Premier Skills programme is reaching a conclusion, as over 60 coaches and 20 referees from across South Africa graduate after working with Sunderland AFC coaches as part of a Premier League initiative.

Graham Robinson, head of international football development at SAFC, has been delivering football courses and workshops to grassroots coaches in South Africa this past week as part of the international programme at the Nike Centre in Soweto.

Graham, who was supported by SAFC Foundation of Light coach Michael Havelock, held a number of coaching activities and lessons on and off the field throughout the week, which included the differences between how adults and children learn, different coaching styles and how football can be used as community development tool.

Workshops, which took place all week, culminated in local grassroots coaches delivering a community festival to over 120 children. Here the coaches put into practice everything they had learned during the week.

Graham said: “I have been very impressed with the knowledge of the coaches, the quality of the sessions they delivered and the format that some of them used. I could see that the workshops we have delivered this week had been taken on board and instilled in their sessions.”

Certificates were then issued to the graduates at a special closing ceremony in front of dignitaries and invited guests. Present at the ceremony was the President of the South African Football Association, who gave a speech alongside Graham.

Graham continued: “I would like to thank all partners for what has been a great week, the festival was a great success and the coaches really did themselves proud. They received a fantastic reception from local players and guests and we are looking forward to working with Premier Skills again in the future.”

The programme held in South Africa was jointly organised by The British Council, Premier League, the South African Football Association (SAFA) and several non-governmental organisations.

Premier Skills, which uses football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world, will also feature at Barclays Premier League Live at Zoo Lake Sports Club in Johannesburg on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 March.

Fans in South Africa will have the opportunity to participate in the Pitch Zone which will showcase Premier Skills sessions and offer young fans the chance to take part in games of football run by Graham.

Sunderland AFC has established itself as one of the most recognised and respected Barclays Premier League clubs across Africa and through its many partnerships, relationships and grass root activities, African fans can truly see the impact SAFC is having on many people’s lives.