Foundation's Float event a hit in Singapore

Singapore’s city skyline provided a stunning backdrop for the Chelsea Foundation’s latest community engagement in the Lion City as coaches from the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore worked on a series of coaching initiatives with the ActiveSG grassroots football programme this month.

Since the club’s visit in July for the International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore, the Foundation has forged strong ties with the island republic, establishing the International Development Centre and working together with local organisations and schools on football development programmes in the local community.

A key player in that area is the ActiveSG Football Academy, the Singapore government’s national initiative to develop grassroots football, which the Foundation successfully teamed up with on coaching programmes held in conjunction with the ICC Singapore in the middle of this year.

That relationship took another step forward as the Foundation held a series of junior coaching clinics and coach education workshops over the past couple of weekends on the spectacular setting at The Float at Marina Bay, an immense floating platform located in the heart of the city centre.

There was a big turnout for the activities, which were offered free of charge to all participants, as about 200 eager youngsters were instructed on how to play ‘the Chelsea way’ in the fun and engaging coaching clinics conducted by coaches from the Foundation.

Watching from the sidelines with much interest were a number of aspiring coaches who were taking part in a coaching workshop on systems of play and age-specific training. Having earlier attended an instructional briefing, they were able to watch the methods being put into practice by the International Development Centre coaches as they put the youngsters through their paces on pitch at The Float.

ActiveSG Football Academy principal Aleksandar Duric was also in attendance and spoke in glowing terms of his organisation’s relationship with the Chelsea Foundation.

‘We began to work closely with Chelsea when they came to Singapore to play in the ICC Singapore in July. We got to know their coaches and invited them to our ActiveSG academy where they shared their coaching philosophy, conducted workshops for our coaches and worked together with us on training sessions with children,’ said the former Singapore international striker.

‘I am happy to work with them because they want to share and to give us ideas on how to effectively run coaching programmes like they have done in London and elsewhere. At the same time, they are also learning from us on what works well in South-east Asia so we are trying to learn both ways.

‘It’s been a great working relationship so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can continue to build and work together on even bigger projects in the future.’

Max Fouracre, Chelsea Foundation international technical support officer (Asia), is also keen to build on the excellent relationship with ActiveSG.

‘We are delighted to be working with ActiveSG again after the success of the first team’s pre-season tour earlier this year,’ he said. ‘ActiveSG have been great in providing Singaporean players the opportunity to be join sessions delivered by genuine Chelsea FC coaches. It was great to see some of the players that we worked with in July and some new faces as well, all sharing the same excitement and passion towards the game.

‘As part of this initiative with Active SG we delivered free workshops to Singaporean coaches allowing them the opportunity to learn how the Chelsea International Department develops players across the world, this is just as important for the club as we can positively benefit more players indirectly through these coaches.

‘Off the back of the tour and our ‘Here To Play, Here To Stay’ initiative, which is to provide a long lasting legacy in the locations that the first team visit, we now have the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore open and fully operating.

‘It is a pioneering project that has Chelsea Foundation coaches working in location with CFC Singaporean coaches based at the UWCSEA East Campus, offering a tangible development pathway which is most importantly an enjoyable and interactive experience open to the whole community.’

For more information on the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore, visit www.uwcsea.edu.sg/cfcidc