Foundation helping schools in South Africa

Wolves Foundation’s Richard Lewis has spent a fortnight out in South Africa as part of the Premier Skills project helping upskill local teachers to improve their delivery in physical education.

Premier Skills, delivered by the Premier League in South Africa in partnership with the British Council, is a programme with different strands including addressing the lack of qualified grassroots football coaches and referees whilst tackling key social issues and supporting thousands of disadvantaged young people.

Richard, a senior schools officer (primary), travelled out to Cape Town and Johannesburg with Graham Robinson from the Premier League, and Katlego Malaka and Sinethemba Nzama from the British Council.

“The project was one of many delivered by Premier Skills to help teachers and coaches in the local area to be upskilled in physical education,” he said.

“It’s a Premier League project but the British Council are the bridge between the league and the Ministry of Education in South Africa who provide the links of which schools to work with.

“There are four phases to the process and this was the final phase, training the teachers to go back into their schools to spread their knowledge and experience to other staff, as well as delivering PE.

“All of the teachers were great to work with, really engaged and coming in during their half term holidays to upskill themselves and better their knowledge which was very impressive.

“We were also chatting about how Cape Town and Wolverhampton have a lot of similarities with their culture and some issues around poverty, and they could understand the difficulties faced by young people.

“I think they were pleased to have that extra information from someone who has been on the ground working with teachers on a community-based project and to take that away and back to their own schools.”

The trip also offered Richard the chance to enjoy a spot of hugely memorable sightseeing in his downtime, including visiting Table Mountain, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and a Lion and Safari Park.

Talking of history and not so much wonders of the world but Wanderers of the world, the Foundation member of staff also found that the local residents knew plenty about Wolves prior to his arrival!

“I walked into the venue one day to be met by one of the teachers saying, ‘I bet you don’t know about Derek Dougan and Steve Bull!’” he added.

“It was good to have conversations about Wolves with a lot of the people we met.

“Over there are so many are massive fans of the Premier League, not necessarily particular clubs, but just the league and watching the football, and that really helps drive the engagement with what we are doing.”