Partnerships in sport

We recognise the value of sport as a global phenomenon that transcends language, religion and culture, and therefore its ability provides simple, practical ways of bringing people together and inspiring them to fulfil their potential.

We have longstanding experience delivering sport programmes for young people through our global network, expertise in sport for education and development and knowledge of local markets. Our impact has been significant, for example:

  • 25 million young people enriched and 55 policies influenced or initiated through our International Inspiration programme
  • 6,301 coaches trained and 946,386 young people reached through our Premier Skills programme     

Effective partnerships have been at the heart our success, working with a range of national and international organisations in the commercial and public sector to meet mutual objectives.    

Interested in finding out about partnership opportunities?

To find out more about partnering with us please contact us at

Or visit our partnership pages to find out more about our wider work with organisations, governments, donors and businesses.

Click below for more details on our current partners.


Premier League

The Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season more than 13.6 million fans attended matches with average stadium occupancy in excess of 95%, the fourth season in a row it was above 92%. Across nine months of the year 380 matches are viewed in 212 territories worldwide. Coverage of the matches is available in approximately 804 million households.

The Premier League is involved in a wide range of community projects both in the UK and overseas under their Creative Chances initiative, of which internationally Premier Skills is the flagship programme.

We have been partnered with the Premier League on Premier Skills since 2007, in that time reaching over 946,386 young people worldwide.

Premier Skills combines our reach with the global appeal of the Premier League to use football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world. 

Together, our partnership with the Premier League on Premier Skills allows us both to meet a global need for community intervention through football.

"The British Council is a partner we really value and trust. On the ground, around the world they have the access, contacts and people to make things happen.” 

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive Premier League

“Since 2007, this unique partnership between the Premier League and the British Council has reached over 400,000 young people worldwide, using football and the training of coaches to build life skills and to help young people contribute positively to the future of their communities. Using the British Council’s world-class expertise in English, Premier Skills also offers participants a chance to strengthen their English and use that knowledge to improve their life prospects.”

Rt Hon William Hague MP, UK Foreign Secretary

Youth Sport Trust

Since 2002 we have developed a highly successful partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, an organisation with skilled physical education (PE) and sports experts. Partnership with the British Council has allowed the Youth Sport Trust to develop a strong understanding of the adaptable and flexible approach that is required when working in an international context.  

Working together, the partnership has developed and is delivering training and resources in PE, sport and youth leadership across the world. Flagship programmes have included Dreams and Teams, operating in 45 countries and inspiring and changing the lives of millions of children.



UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and child rights. UNICEF works in more than 190 countries with families, local communities, business partners and governments, to help every child reach their full potential. UNICEF does whatever it takes to make a lasting difference to children's lives. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children are the priority. UNICEF protects and promotes the rights of all children to an education, to be healthy, to a childhood, to be treated fairly and to be heard.

“UNICEF’s partnership with the British Council and UK Sport was vital in delivering the exciting outcomes of the International Inspiration legacy programme of London 2012. Together we reached over 14m children in 20 countries, helping transform their lives through sport. We are exceptionally proud of this partnership and look forward to continuing to work with the British Council in future.” 

David Bull, Chief Executive, UNICEF UK 

UK Sport

UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency, working in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world class success.

UK Sport work alongside us as one of the lead International Inspiration programme delivery partners. UK Sport’s International Inspiration in-country sport development work is coordinated by staff at British Council overseas offices ensuring effective delivery and accountability on the ground.


Premiership Rugby

Premiership Rugby is the umbrella organisation that represents the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, running the top flight of professional club rugby in England. Their award-winning community programmes deliver 95 Full Time Community Development Officers, 150 Community Partnerships, 150,000 'Man-Hours' of Community programming per annum, and 260,000 Community Programme Participants. 

"Premiership Rugby is delighted to have become a partner with such an ambitious organisation as the British Council, developing the ground-breaking Try Rugby SP programme. Together we are taking rugby union to the world promoting the playing and values of the game to Brazil," 

Wayne Morris, Community & Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Premiership Rugby

“SESI are proud to partner with Premiership Rugby and the British Council on the award winning Try Rugby programme. We believe in sport as a tool for education and the success of the Try Rugby programme has exceeded all of our expectations.  The programme has not only increased rugby participation in Brazil but has been central to improving the quality of life of the young people who have taken part.”  

Paulo Skaf, Social Service for Industry (SESI) - São Paulo and Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP) President