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Tuesday 18 December 2012

North West clubs unite to aid Premier League 4 Sport

Seven clubs show commitment to project with joint workforce development day in Liverpool

  • Kelly Edwards, fourth from left, joins the other sport coaches in Liverpool

  • WBA coach Clive Allen instructs about basketball

  • Edwards, right, passes on her judo knowledge

  • Table tennis was another sport that was learnt by the participants

Seven clubs in the North West who are involved in Premier League 4 Sport showed their commitment to the project with a joint workforce development day at the weekend in Liverpool.

The event was designed to provide an opportunity for young people and coaches to receive training to enhance the programmes locally and work towards sustaining the project and making the sports clubs futureproof, as well as helping develop athletes possibly for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) started in September 2009 and has helped tens of thousands of young people get involved in sport in their local community. Delivered by the Premier League, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust and funded by a £3.8m partnership with the UK Government, PL4S has Premier League clubs acting as a hub linked to community sports facilities, which in turn are linked to local secondary schools to create satellite sports centres.

The event in Liverpool was deemed a great success with the co-ordinators receiving very positive feedback from the participants and coaches. Participants from Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers were there.

The morning session involved workshops where 61 young people from the clubs were put into three groups, undergoing a Young Club Managers training course delivered by co-ordinators from the programme. This three-hour workshop was designed by Youth Sport Trust to develop young people’s awareness of running a sports club.

There was also for the 22 coaches from the PL4S project who attended workshops about “How to Coach Disabled People in Sport” or about “Volunteer Management”.

In the afternoon, the young people took part in three of the PL4S sports that are delivered by top-level coaches from the clubs: judo, basketball and table tennis. The judo sessions were boosted by the appearance of Team GB judoka Kelly Edwards, who took part at the Olympics and who came to show her support and took part in some of the coaching sessions with the young people as well as give a short question-and-answer session.

"It was fantastic to meet a group of young people so excited by less mainstream sports and a pleasure to help them develop as future coaches," Smith said. "Without these young people or schemes like Premier League 4 Sport, Team GB won’t be able to develop on the progress it made at London 2012, so it’s just fantastic to get involved with initiatives like this to make sure as a nation we are even more successful at Rio 2016."

The basketball session was delivered by West Bromwich Albion coach Clive Allen while Jordyn Layfield, who works jointly with Everton and Liverpool, and Mick Moir coached table tennis.

"The event went really well, and it was great to see the seven North West clubs working together to make it happen," said Jackie Twort, the Premier League 4 Sport Co-ordinator for Everton in the Community. "It was a complicated event to plan and co-ordinate, given the number of people involved, but on the day it ran really smoothly.

"The young people enjoyed the Junior Club Managers course, and it was nice to see them mixing with other young people from across the region."

The day was deemed a success and the co-ordinators who organised it received some very positive feedback from participants and coaches. "This is great and beats what I normally do on a Saturday," said one participant.

PL4S's three main objectives:

a) Provide chances for young people to take part in sport outside school hours;
b) Increase the diversity of sport;
c) Improve the infrastructure and supporting links between schools and clubs.

During the first two years of the project, PL4S surpassed its target of 25,000 participants, there being almost 40,000. One third of these were female and 14% were black or from an ethnic minority. More than 850 sports leaders and sports coaching qualifications have been gained.

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Key Points

  • Seven clubs from the North West held a joint workforce for Premier League 4 Sport
  • The event was designed to provide an opportunity for young people and coaches to receive training
  • Team GB judoka Kelly Edwards was among the experts who imparted their expertise