Premier Skills is our flagship international community programme run in partnership with the British Council. It helps people across the world develop skills that they can then use to inspire others.

Liezl's story

“When I was playing football at school, my mother never had the chance to come and watch me. The one time she did manage to come, I beamed with pride.

“I almost didn’t make it onto the Premier Skills course. They were only supposed to take on 38 coaches but they had 72 people turn up. In the end they didn’t turn us away, they made it happen for all of us and I’m so grateful for that. I want to use football as a tool to teach kids but also to get parents involved.”

Coach educator Liezl at a Community day with a young boy

Premier Skills helps people like Liezl in Johannesburg develop their life skills – which they then in turn use to inspire others through the power of football.

“I am naturally very shy but Premier Skills has made me a more confident person. Thanks to Premier Skills I have the courage to take a leap of faith. I have been able to say to myself, ‘This is what I want to do. I can take this further, I can start my own business and look after myself but I can also give back.’”

Coach educator Kelvin in the classroom in Malaysia

From Malaysia to Merseyside: Kelvin’s story

As a coach who came through our full three-phase training programme in Malaysia, Kelvin has been passing on his knowledge to a new generation of coaches.

Working alongside coaches from Everton, Stoke City and Arsenal at the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy, Kelvin was seen in action by Robert Elstone, Everton’s CEO. Robert was so impressed by Kelvin that he offered him the chance to come to the UK and work at Everton in the Community. Kelvin in turn has certainly been impressed by what he has seen in the UK.

“I really enjoyed being part of the mental health programme. I’d never seen football used as a therapy before but here it is. It’s given me lots of ideas for working with new partners and inspiring collaboration back in Malaysia.”

We now have 9,000 Premier Skills referee and coaching graduates in 26 countries who have reached a further 1.3 million young people. Liezl and Kelvin are two of our coach-educators who are now fully equipped and delighted to pass on their skills to the next generation of global citizens.