The hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council, returns to Egypt this October to train 19 male and female participants at Maadi Olympic Centre in Cairo.
The Premier Skills training, is being jointly organised by the British Council, Premier League and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The course, running between 1-5 October, will see eight female grassroots football coaches take part; the delivery of which is being supported by Egyptian national team footballers and Premier Skills coach educators, Fayza Haidar, Passant Megahed and Montaser Elsayed Ibrahim. The training will be led by Premier Skills Head Coaches Paul Hughes and Graham Robinson.
Fayzer Haider, Premier Skills coach educator and former captain of the Egyptian Women’s Football Team said: “Premier Skills helped me achieve my dream to put together the first integrated team made of disabled and non-disabled female players.
“Through the project I was also able to achieve my dream to implement football community development project in my area Helwan; I established football academy for girls. The project was called ‘Achieve your dream’. I worked with public schools to get access to girls aged 10 to 12; visited their homes to convince their parents to approve them participating in football. I started with 100 girls to play football for the first time in their lives. This was five years ago; now we have three teams of females officially registered in the FA in Helwan.”
The week-long training is the beginning of the final phase of the Premier Skills programme – helping coaches to become coach educators so that they can lead training for adults themselves, in order to establish their own community programmes.
So far, Premier Skills in Egypt has reached over 80,000 children, through the delivery and teaching of 120 Premier Skills coaches and 12 Premier Skills coach educators.
Elizabeth White, Country Director of the British Council in Egypt, said: “Football is a great way to build bridges between our two countries – especially because in both countries we love football, and the Premier League in particular.
“We are very excited to offer young Egyptians the chance to learn from one of the best football leagues in the world, the Premier League, through our Premier Skills.”
“As the first woman director of the British Council in Egypt I’m pleased to see nearly half of the participants in this latest phase are women. Sport can be a marvellous way of changing perceptions and creating a more inclusive society.”
Young player Aya Mohamed, from Minia Governate who joined Premier Skills in April 2018, said: “We wanted to play football and there was no chance for girls to do so at school ... we seized the opportunity and started our journey”
Mohamed Nour, Undersecretary of the Ministry and Head of the Central Administration for Sports Performance said: “The Ministry of Youth and Sports welcomes the community partnership with the British Council through Premier Skills programme for football, which is attended by all coaches from the sports clubs and youth centres in Egypt and we hope for more cooperation and partnership between us in the future.
“We are pleased with this partnership, which emphasizes on the importance of the role of sports in the society as well as the depth of the links between the Ministry of Youth and the British Council as an important platform for the dissemination of values and principles in addition to Premier Skills programme aimed at the development of sports wishing for a sustainable fruitful cooperation with the British Council.”
Kate Hodgkinson, Head of International Relations, Premier League added: “We hope this Premier Skills course in Cairo has as much of a positive impact as the previous phases run in Egypt.
“It’s very encouraging to see that nearly half of the participants attending are female and I hope that they can take away learnings from the great role models who are assisting the training, including Fayzer Haidar, so that they too can help inspire the creation and development of women’s football teams in their local areas.”