Friday 26 July 2013
The Premier League is to give football in Hong Kong a further boost with the news that it will help to fund the development of coaching on the island.
"On the occasion of the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy, we have agreed to donate another US$100,000 specifically to generate coach educators"
Since Saturday, the Premier League has been engaged in various programmes in Hong Kong to accompany the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy and to promote the game among the local children and help the development of match officials and coaches on the island.
The activities culminated in a Community Festival at the Po Kong Village Road Park on Thursday, where nine Barclays Premier players saw the two programmes of Premier Skills and the Creating Chances scheme in action.
For Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, such activities by the clubs off the pitch are as important as the impact the Barclays Asia Trophy matches have.
"When we leave Hong Kong on Sunday, it is very important that there is something for people to remember us by other than the matches that took place in Hong Kong Stadium," Scudamore said.
"Two years ago we gave US$100,000 (£65,000) to the Hong Kong FA to develop football. This has been spent, and is still being spent, on refereeing development.
"On the occasion of the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy, we have agreed to donate another US$100,000 specifically to generate coach educators. These are the people who can train the HKFA coaches, which is the next level up, because rather than sending out people to Hong Kong all the time, it is necessary to have your coach educators here.
"We are very grateful to the Premier League for these events"
"This US$100,000 will not only help coach education but will go across the game, including women's football and we are delighted that we will be able to help the Hong Kong FA and its chairman Brian Leung and chief executive Mark Sutcliffe."
At the Festival, Sutcliffe expressed how much such programmes assist his organisation’s efforts to develop the game.
"While we were all very excited about the Barclays Asia Trophy matches at Hong Kong Stadium last night, I get as much a buzz from what we have seen happening at Po Kong Village Road Park," Sutcliffe said. "The Hong Kong FA wants to be focused very much on the football itself and that means playing, coaching and officiating, which are the pillars of the development of the game here. So we are very grateful to the Premier League for these events."
The money from the Premier League to the Hong Kong FA for the development of coach trainers will be sown on fallow ground thanks to the work done during the week by Premier Skills, a worldwide programme to educate coaches run by the League and the British Council.
"It was really important that we got the Premier League standard of coaching"
Thirty Hong Kong coaches, as well as 10 PE teachers from the Guangzhou FA, undertook phase-one training under Premier Skills and what they have learnt will benefit the coaching community in the area.
"I have found it really interesting, learning lots of new ideas," said Dixon Ngai, a coach in the community of Quarry Bay, who was proudly holding his certificate for passing phase one. "It was really important that we got the Premier League standard of coaching. We learnt a lot not only from the Guangzhou PE teachers but from everyone.
"I met a lot of coaches from the area so we aim to start a network. I now have people I can call upon for advice and we hope to meet and discuss new coaching methods from now on. All this was thanks to the Premier Skills course and so we are very grateful for the Premier League bringing it here."