Wednesday 07 November 2012

Coach Amani comes full circle in Tunisia

Amani Boukari will help others follow in her Premier Skills footsteps this week

  • Amani Boukari at phase two with Liverpool legend John Barnes

  • Boukari puts what she has learnt in phase two into practice with the local kids

  • Boukari with Paul Clements, who is a goalkeeping coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers

The hugely successful Premier Skills initiative run by the Premier League and the British Council returns to Tunisia this week for the first time since 2009 and one of the original participants from that session will be helping others to follow her path.

Amani Boukari attended phase one of the 2009 course and was selected for the Premier Skills phase two training in Cairo a year later. Now, having just attained A Level 3 coaching certificate, she will be helping out as a mentor volunteer in Tunis this week. Amani will also be the guest next month of The Football Association for its International Licence course at St George’s Park.

The Premier Skills session in Tunis this month will have intensive training for 40 grassroots coaches from across the country, including 10 coaches from Libya. The training will be led by head coach Bob Glozier, a former youth coach at West Ham United. He will be supported by Ray Shelton, the schools and community coach at West Bromwich Albion and Ray Ansah-Adjapong, a community coach and Young Ambassador to the Prince’s Trust.

"Given our popularity and success internationally we felt it only right to take this approach to a wider community"
Richard Scudamore

Running alongside the coach programme will be a new "Introduction to Refereeing" course, which will focus on teaching community organisations the rules of football. The course is being led by former FIFA referee, Keith Hackett, who will be assisted by Graham Laws, a referee of over 500 Football League matches between 1983 and 2009.

The course in Tunis is being jointly organised by the British Council, Premier League and Tunisian Football Federation and supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: "At home the Premier League and our Clubs have a long-held commitment and reputation for delivering high-quality community and education programmes. Given our popularity and success internationally we felt it only right to take this approach to a wider community.

“Premier Skills has already taken place in 20 countries, developing over 1,100 new coaches all over the world under the current phase alone. These coaches have already delivered work that has benefited a further 220,000 young people.

"This second stage course of the project, which launches in Tunisia this week, will build on these achievements, further developing the skills of some of the most promising coaches that we have worked with."

The target by summer 2013 is for Premier Skills to have reached more than 500,000 young people worldwide through the coaches, and to provide access to the English language materials for millions of teachers and learners of English worldwide.

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Key Points

  • The Premier Skills project returns to Tunisia for the first time in three years
  • Amani Boukari, who attended phase one in 2009, will be there as a help
  • A refereeing course is also behing held in conjunction with the project