THE first of what will be a programme of courses aimed to developing football volunteers and coaches of the future will see 14 Les Beaucamps High School students complete the FA Junior Football Leaders Award.
The initiative, which forms part of the Ravenscroft-based Football for Everyone programme to develop and expand youth football in Guernsey, aims to highlight what else other than physically playing happens in the sport and encourage young people to get more involved.
‘All sports simply wouldn’t happen without the army of volunteers who give up their time to coach, referee, organise and administer. It’s imperative that the younger generation have an understanding of what it takes to make a match or a league happen so they have a greater appreciation and respect and will in turn be encouraged to get involved and give something back,’ said Guernsey Football Association football development officer Angus Mackay.
‘The support of Ravenscroft has allowed us to put together a programme for the FA Junior Football Leaders Award so that every school has the opportunity to offer it to their students. It’s fantastic to see how enthusiastic the teachers have been and that we have been able to run two courses before the end of this season.’
Les Beaucamps High School was the first to run the award with St Sampson’s High doing it all in one day at the end of April. Over six weeks, 14 year 11 students at Les Beaucamps High have undertaken the award during their PE lesson and on Monday 3rd April, they will bring together all they have learnt when they run a tournament for year 7 pupils.
‘At the start they were a little unsure what it would involve but they have really enjoyed the practical element of it. All of them play football but they didn’t have the experience of what goes on behind the scenes and they now have a much better understanding of that,’ said Adam Tardivel, deputy head of PE at Les Beaucamps High.
‘They have organised the tournament and some will be coaching, others will be officiating and then a couple will be doing the administration and the timekeeping. It really shows how much is involved and I am hopeful that some of them will go on to be more involved in their clubs and the sport in general.’
The FA Junior Football Leaders Award is part of the Football for Everyone initiative, which is a result of a partnership between senior representatives of the sport on the island and sponsor Ravenscroft who have a collective ambition to support and develop the youth game by enabling and encouraging participation of both boys and girls of all abilities.
The stockbroking and investment management firm has pledged three years of support for the initiative, which also includes support for the girls’ player development centre and the Ravenscroft youth leagues from under-13s through to under-18s.
‘It’s fantastic that the Football for Everyone programme is already picking up momentum. Encouraging more players into the game will only be successful if there are committed people willing to make training, leagues and tournaments happen. The junior football leaders award has a focus on respect and promoting and developing the game which is vital for the future of the sport. Ravenscroft wants to congratulate the 14 Les Beaucamps High students who are the first to complete the award,’ said Mark Bousfield, group managing director for Ravenscroft.