Premier League coaches train participants from northeast at special camp in Guwahati

18th March 2018:

Premier League coaches train participants from northeast at special camp in Guwahati
Premier League coaches train participants from northeast at special camp in Guwahati

Premier League coaches train 62 participants from across northeast at special camp in Guwahati

The Premier Skills Phase 1 Coach Education course which was launched earlier this week in Guwahati, Assam concluded with a football festival today, where 62 participant coaches demonstrated the skills they acquired with nearly 100 students.

The hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council, took place from 12 to 18 March 2018. 62 participants, including grassroots coaches and physical education students from the eight states of Northeast India were part of the sessions. These participants received expert training from qualified Premier Skills coaches, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects.

The course in Guwahati was led by Premier League Coach Educator Jeremy Weeks and he will be supported by UK Club coaches; Isaac Hammond from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Niamh Nolan from City in the Community, the foundation arm of Manchester City Football Club. They were joined by four Premier Skills coach educators who took part in the Premier Skills programme in India between 2013 and 2016, and who were on hand to assist the Premier League coaching team and pass on their experience to their fellow Indian coaches.

The course was jointly organised by the British Council, the Premier League, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The training was delivered at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE), North East Regional Centre, Tepesia, Sonapur in Guwahati.

The closing ceremony was also held at the LNIPE grounds. Among the dignitaries present were Professor Biswajit Basumatary, Dean LNIPE, Dr VK Sharma, Deputy Director Operations, SAI New Delhi, Jeremy Weeks, Premier League Coach Educator, Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director British Council East and Northeast India and Dr Subhas Basumatary, Director SAI, Guwahati, Dr PB Khaund, Director Sports, Assam, DK Dinglow, Director Sports Arunachal Pradesh and Sreelakshmi Choudhury from the DoNER ministry.

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.

Premier League coaches train participants from northeast at special camp in Guwahati
Premier League coaches train participants from northeast at special camp in Guwahati

Across 2017-18, 173 coaches from the Sports Authority of India and their affiliated institutions are expected to participate in the Phase 1 training. There is a total of three training sessions taking place over that period. The first Phase 1 training with Sports Authority of India was delivered at J L Nehru stadium New Delhi where 59 coaches from North India participated. The second Phase 1 training was delivered at the Sports Authority of India in Bangalore which provided opportunity for a further 54 coaches from South India to participate in the programme. In the current training programme, 60 coaches from Northeast India are expected to participate. In 2018-19, a selection of coaches who have competed Phase 1 training, will be undergoing the Phase 2 and Phase 3 programmes with the objective of developing Premier Skills Coach Educators who can then cascade the training to new coaches in their communities.

Premier Skills has already delivered a highly successful programme in India, training 1,100 coaches and referees, who in turn have reached 72,000 young people since the programme began in the country.

The 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 then be able to apply for an AFC C Certificate course following a period of three months of successfully completing the Phase 1 course.

Tim Vine, Director International and Government Relations, Premier League said: “Premier Skills continues to grow in popularity and strength in India and the introduction of training in Guwahati, following the successful sessions in Kerala, further acknowledges the impact that the Coach Educators have had in developing sport in local communities.”

Alan Gemmell OBE, Director British Council India said: “The Northeast is the beating heart of Indian football and inspires young Indians from all over the country to take up this sport. I’m delighted that in 2018, when my organisation is celebrating our 70th anniversary in India, we are here in Guwahati, presenting, for the first time in Northeast, the Premier Skills programme, a global partnership we have with Premier League. We are as inspired by the Northeast as the rest of India and the world.”

Dr Subhash Basumatary, Director Sports Authority of India, Guwahati said: “I am extremely happy that the British Council in collaboration with the Premier League has extended its social education programme through sports in the Northeast region of India. This part of India has always been a great resource of young footballers and such programmes will help our grassroot level trainers improve their teaching techniques and develop integration between our communities through sport.”

* Premier Skills was run at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala between 2013 and 2016, where they partnered with the Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) to train 100 community coaches and referees from the Kerala Football Association, Goa Football Association and Indian Football Association (West Bengal) through the three phase Coach Education and two-phase Referee Development programmes. At the conclusion of this training programme 16 community coaches were accredited by the Premier League as Premier Skills Coach Educators who now run cascade training programmes in their communities for new coaches.

* Following the successful training programme at Thiruvananthapuram, Sports Authority of India were keen to expand the collaboration to national scale and provide exposure to their coaches and interns in the Premier Skills methodology of community coaching. They have identified four hubs – New Delhi, Bangalore, Guwahati and Kolkata and football coaches and interns from the Sports Authority of India and their affiliated institutions are being nominated to attend these courses.

See a full Photo Gallery of this event here

Important quotes

Jeremy Weeks, Premier League Coach Educator

It’s great to be back in India and to this part of the country for Premier Skills. It’s fantastic to see so many young people being passionate for football and I think it’s grown over the six years that I have been coming to India. With an increase in the number of young people playing this game in India, there is a need for more coaches. My sincere congratulations to all the coaches who have been part of the course, including the 12 women. My sincere thanks to all of our partners.

Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director British Council East and Northeast India

It’s fantastic to be here in Guwahati for the first Premier Skills programme in Guwahati, the first of many we hope. The British Council has a strong focus on the Northeast through all of our work here, in education, culture, which includes sport, and English language teaching. We would like to thank all our partners for their support – Premier League, SAI, AIFF, DoNER and of course LNIPE. This is an important year for the British Council in India, we are celebrating 70 years of being here. The Northeast has inspired us and continues to do so.


Jeremy Weeks

Jeremy Weeks graduated from Exeter University in 2005 with a Masters in Sport and Exercise Science. It was during his time at Exeter he began coaching as part of the Community and Academy departments at Exeter City FC. He also spent two summers coaching in the USA as Head Soccer Coach at Lake Owego Sports Camp in Pennsylvania. In 2006, Jeremy joined Fulham FC where he spent the next five seasons. He worked for the Fulham FC Foundation as a Sports Development Officer in the London area, whilst also coaching for the Academy and Girl’s Centre of Excellence. He became Acting Sports Development Manager in 2009, managing all the football, sport and health related development projects across London and Surrey.

Jeremy left Fulham FC in May 2011 to join the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee where he was the Paralympic Football Competition Manager. He was involved in the Olympic Football competition at the 6 stadiums across the UK including Wembley and Old Trafford and managed the Paralympic 5 and 7 a side competition on the Olympic Park during the Paralympic Games.

Jeremy has been involved with the Premier Skills programme since 2009 and has since led on the development of the syllabus for Premier Skills as well as creating a programme together with the Premier League for Magic Bus, a sports development charity in India. He currently runs his own sports Consultancy Company called W10 and provides on-going support to the development of the Premier Skills programme.

Qualifications: FA Level 1, 2 and 3 Coaching Awards, FA Youth Modules 1 and the Sports Mentor Level 3 awards

Isaac Hammond

Isaac Hammond is a football coach working on the Premier League Kicks (community football) programme with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. He has a degree in Sports Development.

Niamh Nolan

Niamh Nolan currently works for City in the Community, the charitable arm of Manchester City Football Club, as a School Sports Coach delivering the Premier League Primary Stars programme in local primary schools. She completed studies in Sport & Exercise followed by an honours degree in Sports Management and Coaching. Niamh holds a UEFA B football coaching licence. Niamh has represented the Republic of Ireland women’s national team at U17 and U19 levels. She has also competed in the Women’s Champions League for two consecutive seasons and is now playing football for Stockport County FC.

* This Press Release was sent to by Rooplin Sharma who can be contacted at sharma(DOT)rooplin(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on March 19 2018

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