Everton in the Community’s Johnnie Garside was part of a Premier League contingent that travelled to Singapore recently to lead on the delivery of Premier Skills, an international coach education and community development programme, to local Singaporeans.
Premier Skills is the Premier League’s lead development project in partnership with the British Council, which helps the development of community coaches and referees all over the world along with the production of learning materials to enhance people’s English skills.
Johnnie works for the charity’s Health and Wellbeing pillar as a Mental Health Football Coordinator and is also a fully qualified coach and head coach educator. Johnnie has been specially selected to lead in delivering the Premier Skills programme on two occasions and has been fortunate enough to work in 14 countries, including, South Korea, Africa, Dubai, Vietnam and Malaysia.
His recent trip to Singapore, alongside a colleague from Stoke City Community Trust, formed Phase Two of Four and was a follow on from the Phase One course that he delivered, in partnership with The British Council and The Football Association of Singapore, as part of the Club’s involvement in the Barclays Asia Trophy.
The six day visit saw Johnnie deliver an intensive programme to develop concepts around football themes within education, community project development and an introduction into coach education. The Premier Skills programme encompasses both practical and theoretical elements with the Premier League coach educator modelling best practice and sharing expertise across both domains. The programme finished with a community festival with local children and parents attending from the surrounding areas which offered the newly taught Premier Skills Community Coaches the opportunity to put into practice what they had been learning throughout the week.
“Singapore is a fascinating country which has a real appetite for football and quality grassroots coaching. To have the opportunity to have some small role in helping support this desire is a real privilege. We will continue to work alongside the Singapore FA to realise these ambitions over the coming years and I look forward to seeing the progress made by the coaches we have worked with over this time.”
The Premier League ‘Premier Skills’ programmes operates in 25 countries including Asia, Africa and Zambia. It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community projects in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English.
Established in 2007, the Premier Skills programme has trained over 6,000 coaches and referees, who in turn have reached almost a million young people. 6,000 teachers have received training in the use of the Premier Skills English materials with the online content being viewed over 3.5million times.
Through Premier Skills, young people, including the most vulnerable in society, are given opportunities to become better integrated into their local communities, to develop their skills for employability and raise their self-esteem.