A new youth football league for Syrian refugee children is starting in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan. A four-day coaching course by the Premier League in November trained 36 coaches with skills to set up and run the new football league for boys and girls in the camp.
"The young people living in Azraq Camp have had their lives severely disrupted," Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said. "Providing them with regular access to fun, high-quality football training and tournaments delivered by properly trained coaches means they will reap the benefits the game has to offer: teamwork, improved confidence and well-being.
"But equally importantly, it will give them a chance to return some much-needed normality to their lives."
The training programme was organized and funded by the Premier League and ran in partnership with World Vision International in Jordan and The Asian Football Development project (core partners of One Goal).
Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Jeremy Weeks supported by Laura Nicholls, along with Soke City's Warren Leat led the four-day training programme in Azraq Refugee Camp in November. It included a closing ceremony and football festival for 100 Syrian boys and girls who took part in training sessions and tournaments to lear and practice different football skills.
"Syria's future will be built upon its young people," British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden said. "I'm delighted that the Premier League is investing in these young people, as is the UK as a whole, and helping them build the teamwork skills that Syria is urgently going to need to rebuild the country once this terrible conflict is over."
Azraq Camp is the second-largest refugee camp in Jordan, currently hosting over 20,000 refugees with 6,876 boys and girls aged 17 or under. One Goal partner, World Vision International’s initiatives in the camp include making sport available to young people, providing them with not only physical benefits but improving their social, psychological and mental well-being.
"I am so glad that we can bring these skills all the way to Azraq Camp and show the Syrian children that even institutions like the Premier League are interested in them and their future," Steffen Horstmeier, Head of the World Vision Jordan office, said.
Photos: Premier League and World Vision International
Read the Premier League's article: Premier League helping train coaches at Azraq Refugee Camp