Premier Skills participants
Premier Skills

About Premier Skills

Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.

It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English. 

Premier Skills is a proven model, having already delivered tremendous impact in 21 countries up to 2013. The target for Premier Skills is to reach 25 countries by 2016. It aims to engage at least 50 policy-makers in football as a tool for development, to train at least 3,000 coaches and referees and through them reach more than 300,000 young people.

Premier Skills in Afghanistan

Football is Afghanistan's favourite sport. The Afghan Premier League matches in 2012 and 2013 were a huge success and attracted sell out crowds and global media coverage.

So far two phases of Premier Skills training have been conducted to license coaches to meet the demand of the tens of thousands of young football players in Afghanistan. It is anticipated that this project will provide an ideal opportunity to showcase the benefits of voluntary activity, leadership and professionalism.  Crucially it will also demonstrate a strong commitment to the future of Afghanistan. 

The first phase of Premier Skills training was conducted for 20 Afghan coaches, including two female coaches, in Dubai in 2013. The training was warmly welcomed by coaches, APL, AFF and other stakeholders, and was broadly covered by national and international media. The second phase of training, conducted in early 2014, involved 21 Afghan coaches, including three female coaches.

Alongside the Premier Skills phase 2 training, referee development training was also conducted for 14 Afghan referees, including two female referees.  The training focussed on teaching community organisations the rules of football. The training took place at the Etisalat Academy in Dubai.  The course concluded with the Premier Skills trainees being given the opportunity to test their new skills working with about 35 children invited from local schools. 

The majority of the coaches who have taken part in the training are connected to clubs involved in the Afghan Premier League. 

During May 2015, Premier Skills Afghanistan conducted the final stage of coach educator training to 18 coaches including two females. At this stage, these coaches have delivered sessions both in the class and on the football field and have been assessed by Premier League trainers. 38 new coaches from all over Afghanistan who attended this course as trainees have received community coaching skills. 

Out of 18 coaches 6 including two female coaches received the level 1 certificate and have been certified as coach educators enabling them to conduct community coaching trainings.

PS cascade

Premier Skills cascade programme 2015

9 coaches who received level 2 certificates can work with coach educators as their assistants.The 3 remaining participants who have received  level 3 certificates will continue their work as coaches. 

Coach educators were given small grants to run a five day training and cascade their knowledge to new coaches with the help of assistant coach educators. By end of Dec 2015, a total of 12 trainings were delivered in 11 provinces of Afghanistan including Kabul, Nangarhar, Laghman, Maidan Wardak, Parwan, Khoust, Zabul, Jawzjan, Samangan and  Kandahar. In each province 24 new coaches and schools’ sport teachers were trained resulting intotal of 288 participants. In addition, 40 children in each province attended a half day festival at the end of the trainings which brings the total amount of participants to 480.

This cascade programme helped coaches to work with people in the community, spread their knowledge, and use the coaching and football methods they learned from their participation in the Premier Skills programme.

Premier Skills cascade programme 2016

To build on the success of Coach Education programme (2013 - 2015), 12 community coaching trainings are planned in November-December this year which are part of Premier Skills’ legacy activities. The aim of this training programme is to utilise coach educators’ knowledge and skills gained from Premier Skills training programmes, further develop their skills, increase the number of trained coaches and to embed professionalism and leadership through football across Afghanistan. 

5 out of 12 training courses are exclusively for women in order to bring up a bigger number of new female coaches who will then in turn work with women in their communities and train them on playing football. This will help women in getting involved in their communities, promote gender equality, reduce conflict and violence and contribute to positive social change.

So far this month two courses have been delivered in Herat and Bamyan provinces where 48 women coaches and sport teachers from school and orphanages participated in 5 days course where in addition to coaching and learning football new techniques, they also learned about British Council Child Protection policy. Around 150 children also attended the trainings in each province whose skills were used through conducting a half day festival on football. During the half day festival, each participant practiced their learnings with these young participants.

Contact us to find out more about Premier Skills in Afghanistan.


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