Premier Skills

10 years of positive impact through football

An exhibition to celebrate 10 years of Premier Skills

In 2007, the British Council and the Premier League joined forces to use the global power and appeal of football to enrich the lives of young people around the world. Premier Skills was the result.

1.2 million young people in 29 countries have been reached by 7,600 coaches and referees.

Premier Skills provides an opportunity for young people, including society's most vulnerable, to develop their football and life skills, raise their self-esteem and have a safe place to play.

Exhibition dates

9 February – 24 March 2017
British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London
Visitor information

A perfect match

The worldwide success and draw of the Premier League, paired with the British Council’s trusted reputation and global network, has the power to bring people together, regardless of their country or their background.

The Premier League is the most watched continuous, annual sporting event in the world and broadcast to 190 countries

Premier Skills gives individuals and organisations the chance to contribute to positive social change.

Beyond that, it gives young people in some of the world’s poorest communities a sense of purpose – and fun.

Meet the participants...

The players

These girls in Kolkata are getting the chance to challenge social norms, have an education and participate in sport.

Playing football takes them away from the grind of daily life and gives them the chance to learn and play as all children should be able to.

Premier Skills is engaging and empowering women and girls at all levels of the programme, aiming for a participation rate of no less than 40%.

"The thing I enjoy most about these sessions is the sense of freedom and confidence that I get from them."

Sharmista, Premier Skills player in Kolkata

On the pitch - Photographs in Burma by Boothee Thaik Htun

Coaches and referees receive bespoke training that aims to improve their skills in delivering engaging, inclusive training programmes and local football projects.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Premier Skills coaches  

Aung San Suu Kyi meets Premier Skills coaches  

In Burma a core group of local coach educators have been trained to take Premier Skills forward, passing on what they have learnt by training up more grassroots coaches.

This ensures the project’s long-term sustainability.

The coaches

Liezl Windvogel

“Thanks to Premier Skills I have the courage to take a leap of faith,” explains Liezl, a Premier Skills coach.

Liezl is a personal trainer with her own business and a role model in the community. In her spare time she coaches local young people and passes on her experience from Premier Skills by training other adults.

"I want to use football as a tool to teach kids but also to get parents involved."

Thanks to Premier Skills I have been able to say to myself, ‘This is what I want to do. I can take this further’.

Premier Skills has enabled Liezl to give back to a community she loves.

"Every child has a right to play"

Zakes Khumalo, a coach in South Africa, talks about Premier Skills.

The goal

Premier Skills has worked in 29 countries so far: Afghanistan, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, USA, Vietnam and Zambia.

Together, the British Council and Premier League can respond to a whole range of new opportunities, working with policy-makers and partners to fully exploit the power of football to change young people’s lives.

View the exhibition

9 February – 24 March 2017
British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London
More about Premier Skills.

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All images taken in South Africa and India are by Charlie Clift