In Lagos, Nigeria, Premier Skills has formed a strong partnership with the Lagos State Football Association.
Saturday football academy
Through this partnership and the training it delivers, grassroots’ community coaches are equipped with the skills and knowledge to develop and run sustainable community projects, becoming greater advocates for positive change within their communities.
The Help the Talent (HTT) Academy in Lagos is a strong community legacy of Premier Skills in Nigeria. It was set up by Premier Skills qualified coach educators, including Chinasa Mandy Ukandu, a Premier Skills Coach Educator and Head Administrator of the HTT Academy.
Given the poor rates of school attendance in my community, HTT Academy has encouraged children to return to school. We use the popularity of football to address issues that affect children by engaging them in safe, fun and progressive sessions, which encourage them to stay in school and complete their primary and secondary education. Every member of HTT Academy must attend school if they want to participate.
Chinasa Mandy Ukandu, Premier Skills Coach Educator, Nigeria
In Nigeria, children and young people can be absent from school for various reasons, including having to work, helping their parents or because they live on the streets. Reasons vary by gender and according to UNICEF 17% of girls in Nigeria are married before they are 15, meaning school is no longer an option.
At one point, half of those who joined the HTT academy were not in school. They were given the chance to receive quality football coaching which acted as an incentive to return to school. The new life skills they learnt on the Premier Skills programme, meant they stayed at school, with many improving their academic achievement.
Goodluck Nwachukwu, 10, enjoyed playing football in the street, but hadn’t received any formal training nor played football with girls before. After attending the HTT academy training sessions he met and befriended Toyosi, a girl who was also playing football.
We have six girls in our U12 team, I respect them. I no longer insult them if they make a mistake and I try to encourage them. I like playing with girls, especially Toyosi, she visits me and I visit her too.
Goodluck Nwachukwu, 10