Singapore, 24 June 2004 - Premiership champions Arsenal has chosen Singapore’s Junior Soccer School & League (JSSL) as its first official soccer school in Asia.  This tie-up between Arsenal Football Club (AFC) and JSSL has been named JSSL-Arsenal – an Arsenal Soccer School sponsored by StarHub.


The JSSL, officially opened by Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee in February 2002, provides professional football coaching for children between three and 14 years old.  An Associate Member of the Football Association of Singapore, the JSSL is well known in junior soccer circles through its weekly, StarHub-sponsored leagues for Under-11 and Under-9 players. About 260 children from Singapore schools and community clubs attend the JSSL for coaching and league soccer each weekend.


JSSL – Arsenal will start its first term on 10 July 2004.  Under the agreement with Arsenal, JSSL will offer long-term, progressive coaching to children in the Under-15, Under-12, Under-10, Under-8 and Under-5 age groups. The courses conducted closely adhere to the Arsenal training manuals and coaching syllabus. Coaches from AFC will visit JSSL twice yearly to conduct master classes. They will introduce the Arsenal training manuals to the JSSL resident staff coaches, and thereafter, to the students.  This will ensure that the coaching standards are of the highest quality, an attribute that is strongly associated with Arsenal – the Premier League Champions and one of the world’s most successful soccer clubs.   


Selected students from the school will have the opportunity to visit and train in London and all players at JSSL-Arsenal will don the famous Arsenal colours with the Arsenal Soccer Schools, JSSL and StarHub logos.


Mr John Faulkner, General Manager and Director of JSSL, said, “During our discussions with Arsenal, we all agreed this school would be first and foremost for children who simply love soccer and wish to be coached and play in a professional, structured environment with long-term coaching development over the years. JSSL - Arsenal is not a Centre of Excellence or an Academy. It is open to all children who enjoy the game and our joint aim with Arsenal is to promote soccer and sport for young children.”


Mr Alan Sefton, Director of Community Soccer for Arsenal Football Club, echoed Mr Faulkner’s views. “We are delighted to be associating ourselves with JSSL,” said Mr Sefton. “The two organisations share common values in providing soccer coaching for boys & girls of all abilities in a safe environment. We are confident that our partnership will help extend the profile of Arsenal Football Club in a region where we know that English football is incredibly popular.”


“This partnership with JSSL is our third such venture, following the success of our soccer schools in Egypt & Portugal. Their success is largely down to us choosing whom we work with and we believe that we have chosen the best. This is true in Singapore, where we feel that JSSL is the organisation that best reflects our goals, aims & principles,” added Mr Paul Shipwright, Director of Soccer School Development for Arsenal Football Club.


StarHub sponsored the league in 2003. It has since extended its support of the JSSL by being the title sponsor of the JSSL-Arsenal.  The sponsorship by StarHub marks yet another step in promoting local sporting events, and in particular, those relating to children. StarHub has also lent its support to junior soccer, golf and tennis competitions such as SPEX’s Junior Age Group Tournaments organised by Singapore Lawn Tennis Association in 2003 and 2004.


“Soccer fans have been closely associating StarHub with the nation's favourite sport, as we provide the best soccer coverageof major soccer tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO, UEFA Champions League, English Premier League (EPL), Italian Serie A and Spanish Primeria Liga," said MsTham Loke Kheng, StarHub's Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing.


"We are glad to sponsor JSSL-Arsenal especially since the Junior Soccer School will be the first official soccer school of an EPL club in the region.  At StarHub, we are committed to lending our support to grooming young talents in Singapore," added Ms Tham. "We have already established Creative Classroom, a school initiative that aims to stimulate the local students' creativity, hone their analytical skills and make learning an adventure for them. It has been widely documented that sports help to develop a child's character and motor skills.  It is therefore a natural extension for StarHub to lend its support to help the young ones grow in the sporting arena as well."


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