The Chelsea FC Foundation has enhanced its engagement with junior football development in Thailand by partnering with the Premier League on an exciting year-long programme in the South-East Asian country.

Launched recently, the Chelsea FC Foundation Lions Legacy Project supported by the Premier League International Development Fund is taking place across nine Thai schools in Bangkok and will culminate in a series of engaging workshops, events and competitions at the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Bangkok (CFC IDC BKK) at NIST International School.

The five key areas of the year-long Lions Legacy project partnership between CFC IDC BKK and the Premier League will be focussed on providing complementary football sessions, life skills workshops delivered by Plan international, coach education for PE teachers, Chelsea FC student mentoring programmes and football tournaments for over 500 male and female students from ages nine to 16.

Such was the interest from schools wanting to be involved in the project that the original list of six was expanded to nine, namely Nuttavudh Wittaya School, Wattana Wittayalai School, Nawamin Bodindecha School, Santirath School, Thepleela School, Thattong Temple School, Nokkamin Children Foundation, Panyapratheep School and Bangkapi School.

The launch event for the project, which complements the vast community initiatives already delivered by the coaching staff from CFC IDC BKK, saw 134 players from the nine Lions Legacy schools attending a two-hour session at NIST international School last month.

However, the Foundation is looking to expand the scale of the project over the next 12 months.

‘Over 500 Thai school students, 200 coaches and nine young mentoring leaders will directly benefit from this year-long project,’ explained David Monk, Chelsea FC Foundation’s Asia regional development manager.

‘A collaboration between established organisations such as Chelsea’s charity partner, Plan International, Thailand’s first full not-for-profit world school NIST International, the Premier League and Chelsea FC Foundation ensures the level of expertise offered to the beneficiaries is unrivalled.

‘The name of the project is fitting to the commitment we have shown here in Bangkok and Thailand as a whole since 2011, a legacy that will live on beyond this project for many years to come and we hope to build on this project in the years to come by growing our programmes across all areas of the city supporting the development of thousands more young people in the process.’

The Chelsea FC Foundation has developed strong links within the Thai football community since it began its partnership with NIST International School on CFC IDC BKK in 2015 and Chelsea FC Foundation international development manager Ian Woodroffe believes the relationship is continuing to develop in a positive way.

‘The partnership between Chelsea FC Foundation and NIST International School has grown from strength to strength since its opening in 2015, thus allowing opportunities to collaborate with the Premier League on great projects which benefit the wider community in Bangkok,’ said Woodroffe.

‘The NIST relationship with Chelsea FC Foundation could be perceived as exclusive, however this is far from the truth.

‘The strength of the relationship between the Chelsea FC Foundation and NIST stems from their shared values. Both organizations are not-for-profits that seek to enrich youth by inspiring and encouraging them to pursue individual excellence and improve their performance through participation in this beautiful game.’