In 2010, Johnnie Garside, Disability Development Officer and Lee Lockley, Health and Education Officer, represented Everton in the Community and shared their expertise under Premier Skills, the Premier League’s leading overseas coaching development project in association with the British Council.
Since 2008, Premier Skills has sent coaches from Premier League football clubs to countries such as India and Egypt to work alongside coaches with the aim of enhancing local skills to ensure they return to their communities to start up or enhance existing football sessions.
Premier Skills has already been a success in 22 different centres in 15 countries worldwide and the programme has, to date, trained over 1,000 coaches and reached nearly 300,000 young people.
Johnnie and Lee represented Everton by taking part in Premier Skills programmes in Vietnam and China. This year, Johnnie will fly to the Cameroon, while Lee heads to Senegal.
Johnnie says: “Being able to work alongside local coaches and help them develop their skills to re-invest into their communities is an extremely rewarding experience."
Lee commented: “Football is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to make a lasting difference and through Premier Skills we are able to collaborate with international colleagues and learn from each other.”