Mumbai, Sep 3: Premier Skills, the joint initiative between the Premier League and British Council, will launch in Mumbai on Monday the 5th of September in partnership with the Indian Super League and All India Football Federation.
This marks the start of the new three-year Premier Skills programme in India and globally, and is taking place in Mumbai for the very first time.
Premier Skills is a proven model. Since the programme began in 2007, 7,600 coaches and referees have been trained in 29 countries, who in turn have reached 1.2 million young people.
Building on that success, Premier Skills is embarking on a new three-year global programme, starting with phase 1 in Mumbai, strengthening existing networks of Premier Skills coaches and rolling out training to a new generation of community football coaches across the world.
Premier Skills has already delivered a highly successful programme in India, training 400 coaches, who in turn have reached 20,000 young people since the programme began here.
Premier Skills in Mumbai will build on that track record. Taking place at the Father Agnel School sports centre in Vashi, the Premier Skills 'Phase 1' course will see 50 Indian grassroots and elite youth coaches from all eight ISL clubs and and the following NGOs - Magic Bus, Slum Soccer, Special Olympics Bharat Maharashtra, Cequin, Dream a Dream and Oscar Foundation participate.
The coaches will receive week-long expert training from qualified Premier Skills coaches, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects.
The course in Mumbai will be led by Jeremy Weeks, Premier Skills Head Coach. He will be supported by Robert Parrett, Development Manager at Crystal Palace Football Club and Katie Bottom, Women and Girls Development Officer at West Ham United Football Club.
They will be joined by three Indian Premier Skills coach educators who have come through the programme in India between 2013-16 and will be on hand to assist the Premier League coaching team and pass on their experience to their fellow Indian coaches.
Mumbai will also mark the beginning of a partnership between Premier Skills, All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), a joint venture between IMG-Reliance and Star India.
The Phase 1 course will be delivered in partnership with AIFF and FSDL, supporting the development of the ISL's community programmes. The aim is to extend this partnership across the full three phase training programme under Premier Skills.
AIFF have accredited the Premier Skills Phase 1 training as equivalent to their D Licence certification. Candidates who successfully complete the Phase 1 course will further be able to apply for an AFC C Certificate course after a period of three months of successfully completing the Phase 1 course.
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Executive Chairman, said:
"This is an exciting new stage for Premier Skills in India, as we now build on the foundations the project has laid through our work in Kolkata and across Goa and Kerala.
"Our new partnership with the Indian Super League and its clubs, and several excellent sports NGOs, means new male and female coaches will be trained right across the country.
"And this number will multiply, as our Indian coach educators also deliver new Premier Skills programmes, resulting in an even greater number of people starting on the pathway to becoming a qualified coach."
Smt. Nita Ambani, Chairperson, Football Sports Development Ltd., said: "We are extremely glad to partner with Premier Skills and strengthen our existing relationship with the Premier League.
"It is a strong step towards further building the ISL grassroots program and will provide a huge impetus and growth opportunity to our homegrown coaches as well as the community they work with.
"We believe initiatives like Premier Skills and Referee Workshops with FIFA and Professional Game Match Official Limited (PGMOL) will help drive professionalism into the sport."
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, said: "All India Football Federation welcome the initiative and are delighted to associate with Premier Skills. AIFF will award 'D' licensing certificate to all the candidates who successfully complete the Premier Skills Phase 1 certification."
Alan Gemmell, Director British Council India, said: "The return of Premier Skills to India is testament to the continuing global appeal of Premier League football as well as the impact that the programme itself has had in India over the last nine years.
"We are looking forward to working with the Premier League and our local partners in empowering more Indian coaches to deliver life-changing impact for young people in their community through the power of football."