Prestigious Insight & Data Award for Essex County FA
COUNTY FA RECOGNITION AWARDS
Insight & Data (League Review Packs)
Leagues were supplied with enhanced data and insight into their competitions by using the information which can be gathered from FA technology such as the Whole Game System and Full-Time. These were used to help support League Meetings involving Governance, Development, Refereeing and Safeguarding staff.
In order to assist the County FA in focussing on fostering better relationships and partnerships with leagues, a greater statistical insight was required to help understand their inner workings and for future collaboration and decision-making. Perceptions were challenged, both of the work leagues do themselves and how the County FA supported them.
The reports were divided into sections on Club Affiliation, Development, Finance, Fines & Tariffs, Governance, Refereeing, Safeguarding and Marketing, and concluded with analysis and recommendations. Trends for long-term implications within football were examined. It was also an intention to show how embracing FA technology could benefit each league.
“There have been many outcomes from this piece of work,” said Governance Team member Robert Craven, who led on the League Review Packs with Development Team colleague, Jake Stephenson. “We met with 23 of the 39 leagues. Those leagues represented over 80% of teams playing football within the county to provide the scale of the outreach.”
“Essex’s target for online Player Registrations is expected to be exceeded for season 2019/20, which will assist our clubs in being ready to benefit from new FA initiatives such as ‘Matchday’. Following the meetings, further actions were agreed upon, and timescales developed.”
“I think we can take great pride as an Association that we were able to submit a nomination for each category of the County FA Recognition Awards and it shows the scale of the work that is undertaken. We have a great team of staff working to support the grassroots game and I hope everyone feels that they have played a part in us earning this recognition.”
Diversity & Inclusion (Muslimah Sports Association Level 1 Course)
Muslimah Sports Association and the Essex County FA devised a project to understand any perceived barriers to football participation from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) women, and how to overcome these.
In partnership with London Sport and Vision Redbridge, the project was one the first which involved a number of organisations to develop an opportunity within football whilst ensuring individuals’ cultural beliefs and values were not compromised. As a direct result, 15 women were supported to complete their FA Level 1 in Coaching Football qualification in Redbridge.
The project provided an opportunity for females from a diverse background, who do not normally see football as an opportunity for them, to upskill and educate them. It gave them the skill sets to deliver in the local community to other community groups, utilising football as a tool to build and develop social integration.
Football Development (Football Environment)
This set out several objectives, including providing information to support a changing culture of parental and spectator behaviour, whilst also encouraging clubs to create the best possible environment for children, coaches, referees and spectators to learn and develop.
As well as upskilling new coaches and preparing them for a new season, it was also a goal to reduce the number of 'E20' misconduct charges. Two workshops were organised. The first was a 'Foundation Phase Workshop' targeting new coaches going into their Level 1 coaching qualification.
A 'Parents Workshop' then involved a presentation and small discussion groups around good and poor practice. Young players were also interviewed around what they like their parents and other spectators to do while they are playing, which reinforced workshop messages. Outcomes have included a reduction in E20 charges from 102 (2017/18) to 63 (2018/19).
Digital Engagement (#CelebrateEssex Awards)
Through a monthly Twitter competition, #CelebrateEssex retains and recognises volunteers, promoting twelve different roles throughout the year. The campaign showcases some of these unsung heroes in the Essex game, increasing their visibility as role models so, in turn, potential new volunteers could be engaged.
'Ownership’ was taken of the #CelebrateEssex Twitter hashtag, allied to a monthly poll to share some of the inspirational personal profiles of local volunteers. Nominations are collected, analysed and whittled down into four candidates for a Twitter vote for seven days. A winner is then named and celebrated via a news article, social media coverage and a prize related to their role.
The competition has captured the imagination of the community, resulting in media coverage plus thousands of Twitter interactions. Twelve winners have been named, with annual Awards Evening presentations. Throughout the first year, 104 nominations were made, with 8,703 votes cast. All nominees received a public thank you and the prizes have been very well-received.