Ahead of the highly anticipated Barclays Premier League Live fan park weekend, Barclays, Beyond Sport and the Premier League have partnered to deliver a community event designed to educate and share best practice on how sport can be used to overcome social adversity across Africa. This powerful one-day initiative will take place on Thursday 17th March at the Amandla Safe-Hub in Khayelitsha, in collaboration with the South African FA Development Agency.
Football legends Robbie Fowler, Peter Schmeichel and Lucas Radebe will join NGO experts, leading corporate organisations and high-level executives including the Premier League’s Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, for an interactive day built around cutting-edge ways that sport is being used to inspire progress in four key areas:
Social enterprise and impact investment sessions will see senior leaders from organisations in Africa that have shifted to a self-sustainable model will share their challenges and successes, and advise on how sport can take on this new approach.
Inclusive coaching sessions will showcase how Premier Skills, the Premier League’s lead international community programme in collaboration with the British Council, is creating a new era of local coaches and referees. The session will be led by Sunderland AFC coach Graham Robinson and three recently trained South African Premier Skills coaches, who will teach participants new approaches to delivering engaging and inclusive community football sessions.
Opportunities and pathways into employment sessions led by Barclays Africa and other industry experts, will involve both practical and theoretical sessions to discuss how brands are using sport to engage with communities in order to stimulate employment amongst people currently out of work.
Social Action initiative sessions will see on-pitch community sessions led by local NGOs in collaboration with Crystal Palace FC, teaching engaging methods for how sport can be used to address key social issues.
Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said, ‘The Premier League has a long-standing history of community engagement in South Africa, from our support of the Football Foundation of South Africa in Gansbaai, to our hugely successful Premier Skills programme. When we deliver an event like BPL Live anywhere in the world, we want to make sure there are long-lasting benefits locally. Our work in South Africa will continue to develop, and hopefully this Community Day will help create new connections between local businesses and NGOs, adding further value to the excellent work already being done on the ground.’
Sazini Mojapelo, Barclays Africa Head of Citizenship verified Barclays intent saying ‘Our focus will be on ReadytoWork, our pan-Africa initiative aimed at helping young people build the skills they need to make the critical transition from education into the work of work.’ Young South Africans who are looking to upskill for an employment opportunity or wanting to start their own business, in sport or any other industry, are invited to sign up at readytowork.absa.co.za to access the free content.
Speaking about the event Nick Keller, Founder and CEO, Beyond Sport said, ‘This exciting initiative builds on the game-changing work Barclays Africa are doing around employability locally through their Absa brand. Empowering the younger generation, providing them with the knowledge and skills required, enabling them to find work and become effective leaders, is a catalyst in bringing about positive social change. Working with the Premier League will take impact to a different level with wide-reaching effects not only in Khayelitsha but in communities across the African continent.’
Dr Robin Petersen, CEO of the SAFA Development Agency, stated that he was excited that this event would take place at the Khayelitsha “Safe-Hub”, run by their partners Amandla EduFootball. “The Premier League has assisted us in developing the Safe-Hub model into a replicable ‘social franchise’ that we intend to roll-out throughout the country, changing football and changing lives through football.”
The Barclays Premier League Live Community Day, in partnership with Beyond Sport, is a continuation and a further development of the work Beyond Sport achieved alongside Barclays in Soweto, Johannesburg as part of the 2014 Beyond Sport Summit & Awards where educating and empowering the younger generation was the key focus. The impactful three-day event was a festival of innovation and education that created a lasting legacy in the region with the implementation of a state of the art Sport Court at the Atamleng Primary School in Soweto.
The Premier League’s community work in South Africa dates back to 2007 when funding for the Football Foundation of South Africa in Gansbaai began. Work has continued through support of the Safe-Hub programme in partnership with AMANDLA EduFootball and SAFA Development Agency, as well as through support of several local NGOs via the Premier League’s international small grants fund. Premier Skills will run a coaching course in Gansbaai from 14-16 March, and has already trained nearly 200 football coaches and referees in South Africa, who have in turn engaged over 12,000 young people.