SAFC busy in Nigeria.
Sunderland’s head of international football development has flown out to Nigeria this week as the Premier Skills project returns to Lagos.
The ground-breaking football initiative, jointly organised by the British Council and the Premier League, has returned to Lagos, with SAFC’s Graham Robinson delivering the final phase of the coaching project.
Graham, who has previously delivered Premier Skills courses in Hong Kong and South Africa, is working alongside Premier Skills co-ordinator Jez Weeks, a senior coach and formerly Paralympic Football Competition Manager at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The duo are working with eight coaches from across Nigeria who have qualified to the final phase of the initiative. Since completing phase three of the project last September, the coaches have been delivering coaching courses and education projects in their local communities.
The Premier Skills programme which uses football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world, draws 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.
To kick off the start of the week-long programme, the eight coaches were asked to reflect and review the past year and how they have delivered the Premier Skills coach education programme.
Speaking about the visit, Graham said: “The presentations and discussions were very beneficial for all parties. We were given extensive information into the progress of the programme from the coaches and looked at new developments to help improve the project.”
The coaches were also informed that they will be supporting Graham and Jez in the delivering of intensive training for 26 grassroots female teachers from across Lagos. The week-long courses will focus on developing football projects in the teacher’s local communities as well as educating the teachers about child protection and child rights.
The Premier Skills initiative which has been held in 21 countries around the world has served as a tool to not only strengthen relations between nations but also strengthen the development of football.
Through its many partnerships, relationships with football clubs and grassroots activities, Sunderland AFC continues to establish itself as one of the most recognised and respected English Premier League clubs across Africa through the work it is doing.
Graham continued: “Sunderland has a huge following in Africa and we work on a number of projects throughout the continent with our partners. I believe that the Premier Skills project truly represents our philosophy of contributing and giving back to the communities in which we operate.”