The Chelsea Foundation’s successful working relationship with NIST International School in Bangkok is set to continue after the extension of our innovative Chelsea FC Foundation International Development Centre Bangkok for a further four years.
The centre has been a huge hit since its establishment in November 2015 at NIST International School, a not-for-profit IB World School in Bangkok, drawing football talent from across Thailand and cultivating community activity and grassroots football in the Thai capital with training programmes for coaches and players.
Utilising NIST’s state-of-the-art FIFA-approved pitch, coaches from the Foundation have created and delivered a full comprehensive football development programme that is inclusive of all ages, abilities and genders, and is accessible to all areas of the community in Thailand.
The support of the entire NIST and Bangkok school community has been key to the success of the association, with the staff, parents and students all welcoming the Foundation. Families and teachers of all nationalities have embraced opportunities to engage with the Foundation on various levels while living thousands of miles away from London.
Having started in 2015 with a staff of four coaches – two hired locally and two from the Chelsea FC Foundation in the UK, the centre has grown and now has a staff of 10, including three more coaches from Foundation and a further two Thai coaches as well as a full-time administrator to deliver its diverse offering of programmes.
In just over three years, it has had a huge impact on the community with thousands of participants in the multitude of football and socially focussed programmes conducted by the centre. More than 900 players are enrolled in the centre’s coaching sessions each week, with an increasing number of female players taking part since the joint initiative with the UN for the Global Goals Women’s World Cup in 2016 and 2019.
Across the wider community, local coaches have engaged with the Foundation when attending coach education workshops and each year the impact grows with more than 3,000 players benefitting from the centre’s free football programmes in local schools.
The centre’s efforts in engaging, interacting and developing the wider community through its pioneering programmes has also been recognised by the sporting industry in the region. At the annual SPIA awards, it was named the Best Youth Sports Academy in 2016 and won the silver award for Best Youth Development Programme the following year.
The centre also aids in the full development of staff, players and teams at NIST, which enjoyed tangible success in 2017 when it won the South East Asia Schools Athletic Conference (SEASAC) Varsity football competition for the first time in 13 years.
‘We are very proud of our innovative work with NIST International School, which involves placing our Chelsea FC Foundation coaches alongside specially selected and certified Thai coaches within the heart of the Bangkok community,’ said Ian Woodroffe, international development manager, Chelsea FC Foundation.
‘With a shared value of community, the synergy between each organisation has allowed Thai players and coaches to benefit from long-term development initiatives such as the Chelsea FC Youth Development League and the UN Global Goals Women’s World Cup, all hosted at NIST.
‘This award-winning association is providing unique opportunities for the football community in Thailand. We are hugely excited to enter a new phase of the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Bangkok and look forward to reaching new areas of Bangkok we are yet to engage with.’
Brett Penny, NIST head of school added: ‘Having the Chelsea FC Foundation as a partner at NIST has been an enriching experience not only for our students, but also the wider community.
‘The strength of the relationship ties directly to our shared values, both on and off the pitch. Over the past several years we have watched many of our young players rapidly develop their football skills while also becoming more conscious of the importance of teamwork, integrity, fair play and respect.
‘This work has extended well beyond NIST as they have strived to improve other communities around Thailand, and we're proud to support their efforts and share in their many successes.’