Grassroots Digest: Free coaching sessions for 30,000 youth footballers across England




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Free coaching sessions for 30,000 youth footballers across England


image by fawtrust


There was a 60% increase in girls signing up for the McDonald's Free Fun Football sessions, which restarted this past May.

Together with the success of the Lionesses', the big increase in interest in football paved the way for the McDonald's and the Programme to add more regions in England for sessions to be held this autumn. Free coaching will be provided for children aged between 5 to 11 across more than 200 centres throughout the country which includes 17 new locations so don't miss the opportunity!





Lack of teams and facilities for girls

image by STEVENAGE FC FOUNDATION


Despite the Lionesses' historic win of Euro 2022 inspiring young girls and women to play the game, many areas don't have enough teams or sufficient infrastructure.

There are many blind spots across England for girls and women's grassroots football. The FA previously acknowledged such issues in their strategy, pointing out areas which were deprived of opportunities - in general for everyone. If that's the case, imagine what it'd be like for girls or women in those regions - it is likely that there is minimal or no chances for them to participate in female-only teams as opposed to big and concentrated cities like London or Birmingham. With the recent growth in women's football boosted with the Lionesses' success, many eyes will be on local authorities and the FA on how they respond to the subsequent interest in girls and women's football.




The Mass Departure of Referees

image by Dorset FA


As much as the atmosphere gets heated in a competitive and challenging football game, players and coaches should respect the officials refereeing the game.

The widespread abuse of referees at grassroots levels has resulted in a mass walkout of officials, leading to the shortage of referees to arbitrate the daily football matches across the country. Moreover, the abuse towards young and growing referees are being much critised as there is no protection for referees - with shocking attitudes towards the officials at all levels - by coaches, players, parents and players alike in all age groups. It is common to see fans and coaches alike hollering at match officials. But with the high interest in youngsters to learn and become referees, the FA must act to support their growth and prevent abuse. More importantly, the Clubs should be in control of their members to respect the referees - which is all part of the beautiful game.



 

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