Lord Coe, Chairman of the British Olympic Association and architect of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has hailed the positive work done by Premier League clubs in their communities, particularly with respect to sports participation.
Writing the introduction for the Premier League Creating Chances 2012 report, released today, Lord Coe said: “The Premier League is to be applauded for ensuring that thousands of young people will get their opportunity to participate in sport. For years the Premier League has been delivering in the area of sports participation and they, like me, are heartened to see that in 2012 this issue moved higher up the agenda for Government.”
"Professional football is now a recognised best practice provider of social development"
Lord Coe went on to elaborate on the breadth of community work that Creating Chances projects cover. “It's not just about sport," he said. "In this document are some powerful examples of partnership having an impact on young people in these shores and afar: Kickz with the police, Premier Skills with the British Council, Reading Stars with the National Literacy Trust, over 80 community projects funded by the Premier League Professional Footballers’ Association Community Fund.
“And that’s just the League; you now have the likes of Liverpool and Sunderland acting as lead agencies in their city for men’s health and family learning. Professional football is now a recognised best practice provider of social development.”
Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said: "The Premier League, like most sports bodies, is not a recent convert to the power of our players, clubs and activities to engage. The focus on sport during 2012 has put the role and ability of organisations like us to deliver across a range of areas right back in the centre of the political debate and the public’s mind. We are proud of the facilities being built and the practitioners whose drive and professionalism is making a real difference to thousands of young people from all backgrounds throughout the country.
Creating Chances programme has been doing fantastic work in clubs' local communities for years.
"Creating Chances has been doing fantastic work in clubs’ local communities for years"
"Our clubs have a tremendous track-record in terms of investment and delivery in this area with huge amounts of money and resources historically flowing into projects like Kickz and Premier League 4 Sport. It is something we, and they, can only do because of the success and strength of the Premier League as a competition. So the clubs’ commitment to ensuring we remain a vibrant and compelling elite football competition is critical to their ability to deliver the breadth and depth of community work detailed in the Creating Chances Report."
Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said: "The Premier League's Creating Chances programme has been doing fantastic work in clubs’ local communities for years. As well as helping to increase opportunities for young people to get involved in football it has helped deliver on social inclusion, education and career development. I hope the programme goes from strength to strength in the years ahead."