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Standard Chartered upskilled community coaches from Karachi United Football Club (KUFC) to build future footballers of Pakistan. This programme was led by two Liverpool FC academy coaches for 12 KUFC coaches who work across underserved communities and are an integral part of the Bank's annual football community league.

Steven Gillespie and Paul O Brien, coaches who work with the Liverpool FC Academy, conducted the programme in Dubai. This first of its kind football programme by Standard Chartered aims to train coaches from diverse backgrounds and underserved communities.

These coaches will further train other coaches of the Club and will also use techniques and skills gained as they train the children who play at Karachi United's community centres. These children in turn participate in the annual SC KU Youth Football League. Standard Chartered sees this as a long-term investment in terms of providing the children the skillset to eventually showcase their talent.

Standard Chartered Pakistan has been sponsoring the Karachi United Football League for the past three years. The objective of the "Standard Chartered-Karachi United Youth Football League" is to provide a platform for Youth football teams from Karachi to come together, break barriers across genders and ability and inculcate the spirit of competition. It's a platform for talent to be groomed at the grassroots level. A total of more than 1,000 children have so far participated in this League in 2019.

Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, Farhan Ahmed Head of External Communications and Public Affairs, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, "I am very excited about this pilot that the Bank has organised in partnership with the Liverpool Football Club. We are looking forward to seeing how the Karachi United FC coaches will spread this skillset and enable children from underserved communities to harness their skills as good sportspersons".

He said that this is integral in helping improve the SC-KU league in Pakistan which SCB has been running for three years now. He hoped that the skills imparted will continue to create opportunities, build healthy competition and inculcate respect in the local community.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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