By Chris Onuoha
A five-day intensive training course for sports coaches called Premier Skills held at Meadow Schools Lekki Playground came to an end weekend in Lagos.
The course is run by the Premier League and British Council in partnership with Lagos State Football Association, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Kano State Football Association, Kano State Sports Commission and the Kano State Ministry of Education.
The coaching course initiated by British Council in partnership with UK Premier League saw 15 grassroots football coaches from Lagos and Kano States engaged in an incisive and educative programme to enhance the quality of coaching in the country.
The training course that started from July 30 and ended on August 3 was schemed in three phases using football to train and inspire coaches and referees. Professional Coach Educators from UK premier league, Graham Robinson and Paul Hughes, take the participants to a variety of training techniques to increase their understanding, capacity to deliver, and commitment to inclusive community football projects. These include a combination of classroom-based lessons and on-pitch technical sessions.
Ahmed Mohammed, Director of Schools Education and Society Programmes at the British Council Nigeria said: “The programme is in line with the British Council’s plan to improve child protection, development, equality and inclusion.
The programme encourages the trained coaches to adapt lessons learnt and develop training sessions in their locality that are appropriate across a range of abilities and disabilities, levels of fitness and age ranges. They are also expected to equip their students with life skills to enable them to face the future as better citizens”.
Kate Hodgkinson, Head of International Relations, Premier League, added: “The Premier Skills Phase 3 training in Nigeria will give the coaches support and confidence needed to go back to their local communities and better the football offering already in place.”
The head coach, Graham Robinson, while interacting with newsmen said; “We are in the full phase of the training course. From the phase one, we identified with coaches. In the second phase, we continued to develop their skills as a coach, giving them ideas around what coaching is all about.
The phase three is all about coaching education where they learn the education part and role responsibilities of a coach educator. In the long run, we hope to produce coach educators who can then go in the communities and coach more coaches in the correct procedure of delivering as a coach educator.
For Suleiman Haruna, Physical Education coach & Vice Principal at Kano Capital Girls School said: “Premier Skills is a wonderful experience through which I have acquired modern and new coaching skills which I later imparted on the young ones in my community. Premier Skills also helped me introduce female football in Kano State, Northern Nigeria for the first time in history”.