Oxfordshire Football Association and Banbury Mosque recently partnered to deliver one of two events aimed at enhancing diversity within grassroots football across the county.
In June, Oxfordshire FA delivered an Introduction to Football Coaching workshop at Blessed George Napier School, providing insight into the opportunities available to help develop grassroots players in the region, in addition to a Junior Football Leaders course to engage with younger participants and showcase the roles available within football.
Hosted on Sunday 9 June, the Introduction to Football Coaching workshop saw 12 individuals from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups attend to enjoy a taster of coaching the beautiful game. Led by Waheed Ramzan, a recent graduate of Oxfordshire FA’s last UEFA B coaching course, and The FA’s Vinny Halsall, participants were able to get involved in a practical session, which not only aimed to up-skill individuals, but to also inspire those taking part to get involved in an established coaching role in the future.
Later in the month, 15 participants aged between 12 and 16 years-of-age were able to commenced their off-the-pitch football journey through the two-day Junior Football Leaders course, also hosted in part at Blessed George Napier School but starting at Banbury Mosque. The course and subsequent award provides a basic introduction to the leadership skills required when involved in assisting football activity sessions, refereeing, helping team organisation and supporting a variety of events.
Whilst the focus of the Junior Leaders course is to up-skill members of the local community, Oxfordshire FA is then committed to support individuals by helping find local volunteering opportunities within the game locally. For many, the next step will be to aid the transition of those participants interested in taking a FA Level 1 in Coaching Football course and/or the FA Referees course.
The commitment to increase the number of qualified coaches and referees from BAME backgrounds is a key part of Oxfordshire FA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work, laid out for the next three years.
Michael Thurlow, Football Development Manager at Oxfordshire FA, said: “We are committed to ensuring the football workforce in Oxfordshire is diverse – and reflective of the population within our county. We are delighted to be working with partners in Banbury to support our work in this area, in addition to helping provide opportunities to individuals from BAME communities in Banbury to get them involved in football locally.”
For more information on opportunities available within grassroots football in Oxfordshire, please contact Michael Thurlow, Football Development Manager at Oxfordshire FA, via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01993 778586.