Foundation steps ahead in Lion City

The Chelsea Foundation International Development Centre Singapore is gearing up for a busy year as it continues to build its presence in the Lion City’s football community.

Led by coaches from the Chelsea Foundation and run in collaboration with United World College South East Asia’s East Campus (UWCSEA East), the International Development Centre (IDC) has been a hub of activity since it was launched last September, as a legacy of the first team’s visit to the island republic for the International Champions Cup Singapore.

Working together with local organisations and schools, the IDC has gradually raised its profile in Singapore’s football community over the past few months through a series of outreach initiatives, including the organisation of coaching clinics for children of all abilities and the conducting of education workshops for coaches involved in junior football in the local community.

In addition to grassroots programmes, there were also a number of in-house activities including regular weekly training sessions, open trials for talented youngsters looking to represent the IDC’s teams in the local junior leagues, and holiday training camps for budding young players aged four and upwards to learn the game in a fun and interactive environment.

The year culminated with the organisation of the inaugural Chelsea FC IDC Singapore Winter Cup, a one-day invitational tournament at UWCSEA East featuring more than 20 teams from local academies. The teams competed for honours in three different age groups in what proved to be an enjoyable event for the youngsters as they got the chance to test their skills against new opponents in a competitive environment.

‘After being wholeheartedly welcomed by several football organisations and academies in the summer during the first team’s visit to Singapore for the International Champions Cup, we forged some great long-term friendships within the football community,’ said David Monk, senior international foundation development officer, Chelsea Foundation.

‘To return their great hospitality, we hosted our Winter Cup competition which comprised teams from the ActiveSG Academy as well as local teams who are committed to the development of players across the country. This was just a taste of what’s to come now that we have our new home here and are fully devoted to Singapore for many years to come through the IDC.

‘We have also been working in many local and international schools across Singapore and as part of our commitment to the community, all players are welcome at the Chelsea FC IDC and we now offer bespoke programmes such as girls-only sessions and goalkeeper clinics, utilising the skills of our CFC UEFA licensed goalkeeping and outfield coaches, who have a wealth of experience in both the Foundation and Professional game in the UK.’

Having successfully negotiated its first few months, the IDC will look to continue its growth in 2018, its first full year of operations in Singapore. Over the next few months, it plans to continue its outreach initiatives to help develop grassroots football in the community as well as enhancing its in-house programmes.

In addition to regular weekly coaching sessions, it has also introduced Community Coaching Clinic sessions on Wednesday evenings at UWCSEA East for children of mixed abilities and gender to learn to play football in a safe and interactive environment at a low cost.

The IDC also plans to hold a coach education workshop on 25 February for teachers, parents and youth coaches to learn to teach football the 'Chelsea Way', training camps for youngsters during the upcoming Chinese New Year and Easter holidays, and tournaments for juniors and adult players which would bring Chelsea’s local supporters, partners and stakeholders together as a community.

‘We have been working hard to establish relationships with organisations and academies who share our passion for development and this will grow over the coming months and years,’ added Monk.

‘We want to offer a unique programme that compliments the football activities already on offer in Singapore; by providing a platform to showcase local and international talent, ultimately benefiting players as well as coaches.

‘Our Chelsea FC not-for-profit programme ensures we are focussed solely on developing football across all participating tiers and will continue to offer many free activities such as coach education workshops, school sessions and development fixtures at UWCSEA East. Our CFC coaches have been working closely with the Chelsea FC Academy over the new year to gain an insight to the successful methods implemented in the UK, thus ensure our sessions continue to be the best available for youth football development in Singapore’

For more information on the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore, click here or send an email to admin.cfcidcsg@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg.