15 Asian women were supported to complete their FA Level 1 in Coaching Football qualification recently as a collaboration of organisations, including the Essex County FA, helped to tackle low levels of sporting participation among female minority ethnic groups in the London Borough of Redbridge.
London Sport, the Muslimah Sports Association and Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure joined the County FA to deliver a six-month project which was supported by The FA and the Black & Asian Coaches Association to help address persistent inequalities in sporting participation in East London. The women will now take their first steps into sport coaching.
They were given tailored and targeted support to develop specialist football coaching skills and to enhance their ability to represent the needs and considerations of their communities. Facing one of the highest levels of inactivity in London, Redbridge’s above average concentration of Asian residents makes it a key environment to explore the role of local coaches in getting less active people into physical activity and sport.
Andrew Crowl, Essex County FA Coaching Development Officer, explained: “This project highlighted the successful partnerships which have been established in the local area and we look forward to supporting these individuals on their continuing coaching journey. This can be a springboard for further participation and workforce development across our London Boroughs, particularly for females and individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds.”
Dean Nevill, London Sport’s Specialist Advisor for Workforce said: “Through working on this project we have seen first-hand the enthusiasm that exists among local communities to play a leading role in encouraging people to live more active lives. We know that people of different backgrounds face particular and specific barriers to being physically active.”
Mark Healy of Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure commented: “This is a clear example of just what can be achieved through a collaborative approach. There is a worrying lack of Asian female coaches nationally and across all sports. This project has used an effective approach which can now be replicated to make a wider positive change.”
Yashmin Harun, Chair of the Muslimah Sports Association, stated: “London is such a fantastic, diverse city. It is extremely important we understand the needs of the community to increase their participation in sports. This project was successful because all the partners involved were able to create a tailored course. MSA are very proud to have initiated such a pioneering project which has resulted in more ethnic minority female coaches.”
Cindi Chatha, Essex County FA Equality & Inclusion Officer, added: “We’re constantly working towards creating a diverse workforce which represents our county. This project is one of many we’re delivering to engage with the wider community. These ladies are not only inspiring others, but are role models to the next generation of females from a BAME background. We hope this inspires others to actively participate within football.”
If you’d like to find out more about your route into football coaching, please click here, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.