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Football coaching

FURD girls football
FURD's female football coaching

Football Unites` coaching sessions are open to both males and females. We also run a weekly session for women and girls on Tuesdays from 6-7pm at the U-Mix Centre, funded by the FA Just Play fund. This is free, suitable for beginners and improvers and the age range is from 10 to 60! Other female-only sessions can be arranged on request - for example we`ve run coaching sessions for girls at Newfield School in Sheffield.

Two young women who gained coaching qualifications whilst volunteers with Football Unites have since gone on to do paid work coaching football in the community. Other young women are now regularly involved in running Streetkick events.

Case study

Lizzie found out about Football Unites by word of mouth and signed up as a Millennium Volunteer. As a volunteer she gained the FA Junior Team Manager award, helped run Streetkick events, helped with coaching sessions for both boys and girls, and was an important member of the FURD Women All-Stars team in Italy for two years. She went on to gain paid work on a summer playscheme running sports activities, including football, for children. At the same time, Lizzie found time to study for A levels at Sheffield College, play football for Sheffield Wednesday, and went to America as a coach at a summer camp. She went on to study at university in the United States on a football scholarship, combining academic studies with developing her football skills.

Ethnic minorities

Through the successful recruitment of young women onto our volunteer schemes, the numbers of ethnic minority young women involved in planning and running community events has increased, with a positive knock-on effect on the numbers of women attending the events. This has been noticeable at the Community Day at Sheffield United with significant numbers of Asian women attending. In 2005 for the first time we ran an under-12s girls’ tournament at Community Day, with the final going to a penalty shoot-out. The girls' tournament has since become a regular feature of Community Day.

To improve our understanding of the reasons why girls from ethnic minorities are not participating in football as much as they say they’d like to, we asked some students from the University of Sheffield to carry out some research. They concluded that the main factor preventing them was sexism rather than any racial or cultural factor, with the perception among girls that boys will dominate, take over and make fun of them in a mixed environment. Most of the girls interviewed therefore said they’d prefer girls’ only teams and coaching sessions. The report the students produced, ‘Crossing the Line’, may be borrowed from our library.

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