The collaborative working of the three London based County FAs see the 100FC programme recognised at the second annual FC Business County FA Recognition Awards, winning the Football Development category.
The Awards, which were hosted online for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions, recognise and endorse the best projects, products and services launched by County FAs over the past season while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.
Over 125 submissions were entered from the 50 County FAs operating across England, highlighting continuous improvements and showcasing how they are innovating to improve football and increase participation across all levels of the game.
The ten categories recognised at the awards were:
- Brand Engagement
- Digital Engagement
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Football Development
- Insight & Data
- Women & Girls
- Youth Council
- Special Recognition.
Starting in May 2019 the London CFAs (Amateur FA, London FA & Middlesex FA) made a pledge through the Women in Football #Whatif campaign that started them on a journey to increase the number of female coaches operating across the capital. With this pledge 100FC was born.
This three-year project was devised in line with The FA’s national strategy for women and girls’ football, seeing us continue to lead the drive regionally to recruit, develop and support 100 new female coaches through our new fully funded coaching pathway.
We recognised that for the programme to have a meaningful, lasting impact, the women involved required the opportunity to put their skills into practice and develop a love for the game through practical experiences in a safe environment.
100FC doesn’t just offer a series of coaching courses. Instead, everyone on the programme goes through a supportive journey that is right for them:
- Introduction to Coaching Workshop – introduction to the programme, the network and coaching. Theory and practical learning to dispel myths and create a sense of belonging within football and the programme.
- Placements – each learner paired with an FA Charter Standard Club, Wildcats Centre or Just Play Centre. 50 cubs/organisations from across the capital expressed an interest in supporting a Cohort 1 100FC coach within a safe, supporting environment.
- FA Coach Education Courses – access to bespoke 100FC courses, allowing them to engage with the network involved in the programme. Alternatively, they can choose to access courses from across the three counties to access free of charge – whichever route suits them best.
- FA Coach Mentors – all 100FC coaches can access FA Coach Mentor support through organised webinars and 1to1 support in their coaching environment.
What the journey looks like is different for all women, but one thing is consistent, they are part of a movement to increase the number of active female coaches in grassroots football in London.
The results of this considered approach mean that we have already engaged with 180 women across London to this date, upskilling 71 women through the Introduction to Level 1 Workshops, 40 of which went on to attend a 100FC specific FA Level 1 course, 30% of whom are from a BAME background. All of the women involved in the programme received FA DBS checks and have been linked with grassroots clubs in London Boroughs. These clubs have benefited from an additional coach to support one of their teams and for some, now have the first female coach within their clubs.
100FC has had an extremely positive responses from clubs and organisations across London as well as all women actively involved in the programme. Our Women in Football #WhatIf pledge has come to fruition and through their promotion in additions to CFA efforts, the programme has reached a dynamic and diverse demographic of women from ex-players, to teachers, to mums.
The recognition of this hard work not only is down to the hard work of Samantha Brown, Laura Foster and Katie Phillipson (Amateur FA, London FA & Middlesex FA respectively) but also a huge thanks must be shared with Emily Hill and David Streetley who acting in both their capacities as FA Coach Mentors and FA Affiliate Tutors were able to support the goals of this fantastic project.
On winning the Football Development Award, the Middlesex FA lead on this project Katie Phillipson (Head of Participation and Development) said: “We are incredibly proud of the 100FC programme and what it has achieved so far. The programme not only upskills and supports a new cohort of female coaches but is key in sustaining and growing playing opportunities across the capital with an active workforce. By working collaboratively with AFA and London FA, we have engaged with women across London and maximised the programme’s impact to benefit the grassroots game in the capital.”
Alongside winning this award we were delighted to see 100FC shortlisted for the Womens & Girls category, whilst our Road to Respect programme was shortlisted in the Respect category and our work with our Charity Partner, St Luke’s Hospice was shortlisted in the Partnerships category.
On the awards, Middlesex FA CEO Leigh O’Connor said: “Following a season that has seen us face challenges that no one could foresee at the beginning of the 2019/20 season I am immensely proud of our team who have worked tirelessly to develop and support the game, not just in Middlesex but in partnership with neighbouring County FAs to ensure football is developed across our region.
Through this work the team have shown our core values, being committed, creative, collaborative and connected to ensure we can develop and support the game to the best of our abilities.
I am delighted to see our work recognised with 100FC winning in the Football Development category, whilst 100FC and a number of our other programmes were also recognised, receiving a short listing in their relevant categories.
I would also like to congratulate the other County FAs who won, were shortlisted and also those who entered nominations, to see the work that is going on across the country is inspirational and we look forward to another year of hard work.”
The FA’s Director of Football Development, James Kendall added:
“It gives us great pleasure to recognise and reward our County FAs for the vital work they continue to deliver across their local communities, and I want to thank each and every one of them for the resilience and leadership they have shown over the course of the year.
In what has been an unprecedented year of challenges, we now have the highest number of males playing affiliated football recorded to date, and we have delivered on our collective ambition to double participation in the female game. This is testament to the hard work of all our County FAs and everyone should be congratulated for these achievements.”