Shandi Gibbons ready to pass on her love of football to the next generation


Wagga Wagga local, Shandi Gibbons, is one of the latest recipients of the ‘C’ Licence Scholarship. 

Gibbons has been coaching for the better part of a decade, and the scholarship has opened up new pathways for her to continue her journey.

“I started coaching my own children after seeing the lack of people volunteering in community football. I decided to start my coaching journey to be that positive change and help foster a positive culture of volunteering and giving back to the community.”

Gibbons coached the Wagga United Under 6’s and managed the Wagga United First & Second Grade Men’s squad during the 2022 season. In 2023 Gibbons is coaching the Under 7’s and assisting with the 12-15 girls’ team at Wagga United.

Gibbons had no plans of completing her ‘C’ Licence.

“I wasn’t aware of the opportunities that the Football Legacy Program and its Women in Football Scholarship Program had on offer. Reading up on the many technical football skills I would gain, which I could in turn pass on to my players, really solidified my short-term goal of winning this scholarship. 

“Prior to being awarded, I felt that the skills I would learn upon completion would further my coaching and help to develop our female competitions locally. A lot of the younger girls at our club have voiced their inspiration for older members and professional players. I hope that by imparting my knowledge, I’ll be able to mentor and guide my players to continue playing football.”

The importance of coach education in grassroots football

Gibbons believes that coach education is critical to grassroots football.

“We’re lucky to have parents step up to the plate and take on volunteer roles. Being able to provide quality education and support is key to keeping those parents around, giving our children what they need to get out of the game and showing others that it’s a well-supported environment to bring in more coaches. Being awarded the ‘C’ Licence scholarship makes me feel confident and supported in my role as a coach. 

“We’ve received an increase of interest from young girls wanting to join the club because of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. We’re expecting an uptake in registrations from potential female players and will need to accommodate that.”

Gibbons’ goal for the 2023 season is to use her skills for the betterment of her team and club.

“I think programs like the Women in Football Scholarship Program ensure that there is greater consistency in coaches being able to provide the same foundational knowledge and skills across the board. I want to provide our female players with quality coaching and the same opportunities presented to the male members of our club.”

NSW Football Legacy Program

The Women in Football Scholarship Program was launched with the objective of growing female participation at all levels of the game. Working to upskill female officials, coaches and club administrators – participants have access to a range of education and development opportunities. 

The Women in Football Scholarships are part of the NSW Football Legacy Program – a $10 million investment from the NSW Government. The program seeks to support female football through new community facilities, participation initiatives, development programs as well as tourism and international engagement. 

You can get involved in NSW Football Legacy Program opportunities here.

This web story is supported by the NSW Government under the NSW Football Legacy Program.

Caption: Shandi on the right, with two other C Diploma recipients – Paige Hunt and Lisa Cary.