40 coaches, teachers and youth workers, both female and male, from across the Cape region gathered this week for a three-day “Introduction to Community Coaching” course facilitated by Premier Skills in local partnership with the Grootbos Foundation. The course featured lessons in practical inclusive football activities, the main principles on how to become a good community coach and using sport as a tool for development; one of the core objectives at the Grootbos Foundation.
Premier Skills is the Premier League’s flagship international community programme, run in conjunction with the British Council, which uses football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world by training local community coaches and referees. Premier Skills visited 26 countries around the globe, training coaches and referees the skills to develop others and their own community projects. Since Premier Skills began in South Africa in 2014, over 200 coaches and referees have been trained, adding 40 more following this year’s programme in Gansbaai led by Premier Skills Head Coach Graham Robinson (from Sunderland AFC) and four locally trained Premier Skills Community Coach Educators. The four Coach Educators were trained and assessed through the original Premier Skills South Africa programme.
On the final day of the programme, South Africa’s own football star Lucas Radabe, joined newly certified coaches and Football Foundation athletes in a community festival where local children were able to participate in a football tournament. The event began with small coaching lessons performed by the Premier Skills student coaches, followed by a small-sided tournament where Lucas himself joined on the pitch alongside Football Foundation athletes. Lucas explained, “I think it’s an absolute pleasure to have been out here with all of these kids from the Grootbos Foundation. It’s such a great facility, and the children having fun and enjoying themselves, I mean, this is what it’s all about. Especially investing in youth development, and again not only in the cities but also in areas like Gansbaai which is one of the luckiest communities to have something like this.”
We are so honoured to have hosted this year’s Premier Skills coaching and to have been able to invite our children to such a special event.