Since its inception in 2007, the Premier Skills programme has worked to empower local communities through football. More recently, in 2018, the programme focused on female empowerment and the inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of society, providing opportunities to become better integrated into their local communities, helping to develop their skills for employability and raise their self-esteem through football.
Now as the Premier Skills programme draws to a close in Egypt, we take a look back at its success and the female football legacy it leaves behind.
The Social Stigma
The 1000 girls 1000 dreams project was launched in Egypt in 2018 and saw the Ministry of Youth and Sports support the delivery of the Premier Skills programme. The project aim was to engage 1000 girls, aged 12 to 14, in football training centres in eight governorates in Upper Egypt.
Challenging social stigma around female football was a real hurdle, parents of young girls were fearing that playing football would mean they compromise their cultural norms and traditions, they thought playing football would encourage girls to be lenient with their modest outfits, but they became less resistant when they realised that their daughters are able to play while wearing headscarves and loose uniforms.
Mohamed Salah, Premier Skills Coach Educator, Beni-Suef governorate