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- 16 October 2014 00:00
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Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid has praised the power of the Premier League in helping youngsters across the globe during a visit to Kolkata in India.
During a trip across the country, the Culture Secretary visited a project belonging to Kolkata Goalz which is part of Premier Skills, an international collaboration between the Premier League and British Council that operates in 25 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas.
He launched a community football development programme for girls from the Orient Girls Shiksha Kendra, a free school for socio-economically challenged girls that has agreed to incorporate Premier Skills as part of its physical education curriculum.
"The Premier League do some brilliant work around the world in sport for development and it was great to see their Goalz project in action in Kolkata for the launch of their girls programme," Javid said.
"Not only is this encouraging sports participation but it is also helping young people in deprived communities find routes into employment."
The scheme is delivered with the Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, All India Football Federation and nine Premier division football clubs based in Kolkata.
About 200 girls are expected to join the project, joining more than a thousand youngsters who have taken part in the Kolkata Goalz programme, which is based on the successful Premier League Kicks programme, over the last three years.
It works with young people in areas of high deprivation and offers them tri-weekly football training sessions, English lessons and the chance to participate in tournaments, athletics competitions and cultural events.
It uses football to support community projects, get youngsters playing sport and develop local coaches and referees.