An article by our Training Co-ordinator Sam Ellis
On Monday 30th April, The FA ran an open day at St George’s Park to showcase coaching opportunities for black, Asian, minority ethnic community (BAME) and women coaches.
Having identified that these underrepresented groups find securing paid roles challenging, the open day was created to provide coaches with expert support, advice on pathways to employment and a chance to showcase their coaching skills to potential employers.
My brief was to attract organisations to exhibit at the event.
Being the first of its kind, there was no evidence to demonstrate how many participants we would attract, and no guarantees there would be much support or indeed, any interest.
Despite this the enthusiasm and commitment of the exhibitors contributed massively to the overall success of the day.
A variety of organisations helped break down barriers, helped coaches move away from mainstream options and to think more openly about the opportunities available.
The RAF sent six military personnel, Fit for Sport three staff members, and I lost count of Brighton and Hove. Having a club such as Chelsea F.C. alongside organisations including the Premier League, UK Coach, Loughborough University, Camp America and British Cycling ensured there was plenty of information and pathways for consideration.
Layered up with an opportunity to demonstrate their practical skills, workshops in CV writing and presentation skills training, as well as talks throughout the day from the likes of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Careers in Sport, there was definitely something for everyone. A guest appearance from Gareth Southgate clearly added to the excitement, but not only that, it was a great endorsement of the work Wayne Allison and his team are doing at The FA.
The target audience weren’t the only people to benefit from the day. The exhibitors had a chance to network, exchange knowledge and experiences and to gain an insight into each other’s work.
An added bonus, for some, was a guided tour of St George’s Park – a real treat particularly for those who had hit the road at 6am to attend the event.
Whilst we’re awaiting official feedback – it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.