The hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council, will close in Senegal, with a celebratory football tournament taking place between Friday 19 to Sunday 21 January 2018 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium. The Premier Skills Legacy event will see 100 young female footballers aged between 12 and 15 years old take part in intensive training, run by various members of community coaching teams from across the country.
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.
Through Premier Skills, young people, often including the most vulnerable in society, are given opportunities to become better integrated into their local communities, to develop their skills for employability and to raise their self-esteem.
The project in Senegal has been led by Ladies Turn a local non-profit association that aims to promote women's football in the country. The president of this association, Seyni Ndir Seck, former captain of the national team, is also the president of the Women's Football commission at the Senegalese Football Federation. Ms Seck will be supported by 19 Premier Skills community coaches from all over Senegal at the final tournament in January, with a closing ceremony on Saturday 20at 4pm at the Stadium Leopold Sedar Senghor organised by the British Council, Premier League and Ladies Turn.
During this year’s Premier Skills Legacy activity, 19 local trainees received expert training from qualified Premier Skills Coach Educators giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects. This culminated in 19 community projects being organised in 12 different regions across Senegal by 430 young women. Various panel discussions on malaria, child marriage and genital mutilations, safety and first aid were also held by these community coaches. A micro-gardening project was one of the most exciting programmes to be developed, as the community was able to reach a point of food self-sufficiency through this endeavour.
Ouleye Dieye from Pikine, a suburb of Dakar in Senegal said: “I started playing football a few years ago and played at national level. I have never had any football training before being involved in Premier Skills. It was important for me, because I had no credentials and it is necessary to improve my skills and knowledge to gain recognition and credibility. Finally, I’ve gained knowledge and have been able to start my own football club just months after the first phase training on Premier Skills for community coaches that took place last January in Thies, Senegal.”
Since Premier Skills began in 2007, 20,027 coaches and referees have been trained in 29* countries, who in turn have reached over 1.6 million young people.
In addition to coaching, a range of free materials, including a dedicated Premier Skills website, has been created for teachers and learners of English that utilise exciting Premier League content and the British Council’s world-class expertise in English.
Rahmatoulaye Fall, Premier Skills’ project manager at the British Council Senegal, said: “Witnessing these girls go through this life-changing opportunity reassures me that this programme is fully sustainable. The creation of these 19 teams – which include 430 girls –will continue to be strengthened by the skills and confidence they have gained throughout the capacity-building project.”
Tim Vine, Director of International Relations at the Premier League added: “Premier Skills in Senegal has gone from strength-to-strength over the years, and it is fantastic to now see the impact that it has had on the ground. We are confident that after giving the coaches the extensive training that has been provided them, and investing in them to create and grow their own sessions and delivery, that there will now be a hugely successful football legacy from Premier Skills across Senegal.”
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