Chelsea Foundation coaches recently travelled to Chicago to join forces with the Illinois Youth Soccer Association and assist with its local football programmes.
The week of events included a coach education workshop where Foundation staff provided support for coaches from across the state. It followed up on the Foundation’s visit to Chicago alongside the United Soccer Coaches Convention in January 2019.
The three-hour workshop offered 30 coaches a glimpse into coaching from the viewpoint of those at a top Premier League football club, which can now be transferred on to the next generation of American players.
Director of coaching at IYSA Adam Howarth said: ‘Working with Chelsea FC Foundation has given our coaches and players a fantastic insight into how things are provided at one of the top clubs in the world.
‘All of our players and coaches benefitted greatly from this experience.’
In addition to the coach education workshop, the Foundation also collaborated with IYSA’s Soccer for Success and Olympic Development programmes.
Soccer for Success is an inner city football project that offers training opportunities to 10- to 12-year-olds from downtown Chicago who want to play football but often lack the financial means to do so, while the Olympic Development programme focuses on developing top players from the region with the ultimate goal of improving the United States national team.
Foundation senior international development officer Chris Woodward said: ‘It was fantastic to see so much enjoyment, support and development of these young people and adults across the week.
‘It was clear that these events had a positive impact, giving them an insight into Chelsea Football Club.
‘We look forward to continuing the relationship with IYSA and to bringing a group of coaches from Illinois for a coach education experience here at Chelsea in November.’