Young people aged between 16 and 24 now have the opportunity to help shape and develop football, supporting and empowering a diverse workforce and influencing change thanks to the Essex County FA’s ‘Youth Forum’.
The Youth Forum is a group of six young people who support the County FA in delivering a 2017-21 strategy, aiming to give a voice to youngsters and make a positive change. Across the season, the Youth Forum will be working alongside the County FA to deliver the annual Community Day, Futsal Finals and various events.
The first meeting took place on Tuesday 20th February at the County Office in Chelmsford where the members got to know each other. They gained an understanding of the Forum’s first project, which is obtaining an insight into why children and young people enjoy football and what they would change about it. They’ll also support the Safeguarding Department in a wider project to deliver Parent Workshops within clubs across the county.
The Youth ‘Council’ have been together for two years already to provide a voice to young people on how grassroots football is delivered locally. They also help to deliver a variety of projects which support the FA National Game Strategy, including the Essex County FA ‘Football Futures’ Programme and Camp and youth leadership events.
Rhys Elmer, from the Essex County FA Development Team, said: “I believe it’s extremely important that we listen to the views of children and young people to shape the way grassroots football looks. Young people currently volunteering in football are our future generations of club and league committee members, coaches, welfare officers and first aiders.”
Meet the Team
Ciaran Whatley (Inclusion)
Club: Hawkwell Athletic FC
Qualifications: FA Level 1 in Coaching Football
I want to have an impact on… increasing awareness of young people in developing the game
Niamh Gamble (Women & Girls)
Club: Writtle Minors FC and Broomfield YFC
Qualification: Referee, FA Level 2 in Coaching Football (in progress)
I want to have an impact on… increasing female coaches and referees
Jack Avis (Coaching)
Club: Woodham Radars FC
Qualification: FA Level 2 in Coaching Football, FA Level 1 in Coaching Futsal
I want to have an impact on… getting exposure to coach CPD’s (Continuing Professional Development) and coach mentoring
Gemma Stubbles (Volunteers)
Club: Super Star Sport
Qualification: Futsal Referee, FA Junior Football Leader
I want to have an impact on… increasing female coaches and girls’ teams
Alex Hithersay (Youth)
Club: Barking FC
Qualification: Trainee Referee
I want to have an impact on… encouraging more young people to get into the development side of the game
Tilly Deacon (Recreation)
Club: Essex County FA Representative Teams
Qualification: FA Junior Football Leader
I want to have an impact on… raising awareness of female football
Could You Join the Forum?
The ultimate aim is to recruit a team of twelve, to cover as many areas of football as possible. Existing ‘Football Futures’ members are welcome to join if they are:
* able to attend, and actively participate in, all monthly Youth Forum meetings
* committed to Youth Forum aims to provide a voice for children and young people
* capable of delivering and attending various football events related to the role
* in a position to support a minimum of three Essex County FA events
* willing to complete the FA ‘CRC’ process
There are still specific areas of expertise which the Youth Forum are aiming to attract, and applications for membership are ongoing. To find out more, E-Mail Rhys Elmer at email@example.com or call (01245) 393093. For further details on volunteering in grassroots Essex football browse the 'Volunteers' section above, follow @EssexCountyFA and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.