Football is one of the most popular sports in Indonesia. The popularity can be harnessed to reach and engage with people at all levels of Indonesian society.
Boosting Inclusivity in Indonesia
The Premier Skills programme has helped marginalised communities in Indonesia, by delivering training activities to help coaches tackle issues like drug use, homelessness, and the stigma surrounding people with disabilities.
Premier Skills is a global partnership between the British Council and the Premier League. Through the power of football, Premier Skills contributes to inclusive societies worldwide, empowering Premier League trained coaches to provide marginalised and at-risk young people with the opportunities to develop skills and become better integrated into their local communities.
The Premier Skills programme in Indonesia has trained community football coaches, physical education teachers, and youth leaders to become Premier Skills Coach Educators (PSCE)s whose role is not only to coach football, but also to promote healthy lifestyles, act as role models for young people in their communities and train new coaches.
PSCEs in Indonesia have taken what they’ve learned from the programme and applied it in their coaching in different contexts, for example, to support people with disabilities, to encourage more women to enjoy football, and to help young homeless people.
Hanu Resinurjati Pitrosandhi is a PSCE who coaches in Bandung. He joined the Premier Skills training for coach educators in 2017-2019.
Hanu has worked with people with disabilities for almost 20 years. He is the Secretary General at Humaniora Foundation, the Development and Achievement Head in Bandung of the National Paralympic Committee Indonesia, and a Physical Educator Teacher in Bandung.
Before moving into coaching, Hanu was a footballer and played competitively in the Indonesian football league.
“The Premier Skills programme helps to grow Humaniora, and pushes me to do more with the community,” said Hanu. “There are 205 children and youths who are blind, deaf, autistic, and with motoric disabilities under Humaniora guidance. Some of the youths under our guidance become national paralympic athletes.”
Premier Skills aims to train coaches to help young people develop life skills, like teamwork, empathy, communication skills and ways of coping with challenging situations through football coaching activities. Hanu uses the Premier Skills principles to support young people with disabilities and their families.
“There are many social stigmas when it comes to disabilities. Many parents still don’t accept that their children have disabilities and therefore could not give the proper guidance,” explained Hanu.
In 2023, the British Council provided a small grant for Hanu’s Social Action Project that supports the delivery of Premier Skills training opportunities to people with disabilities in Bandung. Using the grant, Hanu trained 50 people with disabilities to become young football coaches. “The training materials from Premier Skills help to show that people with disabilities can also be football coaches. They can teach the young ones. This may be the first time in the world where we have dedicated training for people with disabilities to become football coaches,” said Hanu proudly.
PSCEs work to encourage more women and girls to join football clubs and take part in football training sessions and play the game. However, the coaches often face resistance from people who do not believe it is appropriate for women and girls to play football.
Indra Sholehudin, a coach educator who works in Bandung, and Gilberts Mikhael, a coach educator in Kupang, believe that women should be given more opportunities in the Indonesian football industry.
In 2023, the coach educators each received a small grant from Premier Skills for their Social Action Projects that support women and girls to participate in football coaching sessions. “Women participation in football can be difficult because of the parents, and sometimes their own doubts,” explained Indra.
Indra joined the Premier Skills training for coach educators in 2017-2019. He has use the Premier Skills training materials in his community and at a university.
Gilberts Mikhael also has been promoting female participation in football in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. As a sports teacher, he saw that there is a lot of potential for female football players. With the grant money from Premier Skills, he trained 24 female participants from Universitas Kristen Artha Wacana and two women from Bali to become community coaches.
“The training ran for three days and it was such a success. We got a lot of support from different communities in the province as well, from the local government to other sports organisations,” said Gilberts. He believes that this programme can help reduce gender issues in East Nusa Tenggara. “What makes the project successful is the collaboration between different organisations and communities.”
Gilberts also wants to use his Premier Skills training to educate female coaches about general health and about how they can challenge negative attitudes towards women and girls in football. “First of all, Premier Skills made me feel like I am more than a sports teacher. Second of all, this project really has brought a positive impact to the community, including the growth in women coaches,” explained Gilberts.
Deliana Iman Dwi Gita or also known as Adel was the only female PSCE in her training group. She also works as a referee at Piala Pertiwi Nasional. She is demonstrating to those around her that there are many ways women can take part in the football ecosystem.
During the Premier Skills programmes, she delivered two community coaching trainings, in Lembang and in Bali. She supported Hanu and Indra in delivering sessions on gender at their Social Action Projects. “Since covid, women’s football in Indonesia is on a rise. There are more football events for women, and more accepting parents, which boost their confidence when playing,” said Adel.
Adel is very positive about the Premier Skills training she received.
“Meeting the coaches from the United Kingdom also helped with my confidence,” commented Adel.
Adel will use the skills and activities she learned from Premier Skills for more training in the future. “I believe Premier Skills can also be used for other sports. The method that we were taught is about more than football.” She hopes that more female football players can feel confident about their skills and receive the support they deserve.
Premier Skills has delivered training to coaches who work with vulnerable young people, many of whom live on the street. This training is designed to help coaches support young people by developing life skills and building confidence. The materials support coaches who are working to build social skills in the players they work with and also to help them gain self-respect, connect with people in their communities, and improve their livelihoods.
Hanu explained the impact of using Premier Skills activities and resources with street children and young people with problems with drugs. He told us that by bringing a programme from the UK and making time to train these children, they feel seen. “It is more than about football, we learn so much about how to use football to help with socio-cultural issues,” commented Hanu.
“The impact of Premier Skills can really be felt in the community, especially for the street children,” said Adel. She explains that through gestures as simple as wearing a Premier Skills t-shirt, the young people feel encouraged and supported. “When they are happy with football, they let go of their negative habits. Our programmes help fill these kids' time with something positive.”
Premier Skills in Indonesia has promoted the idea that football coaching is not only about developing professional players and winning all the games, “they learned how to find joy in football and use it towards something positive,” explained Adel.