Football St George’s journey to empowering female coaches

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Football St George (FSG) is making significant strides in breaking down gender barriers and promoting inclusivity through their Female Coach Mentoring Program.

With diversity among coaching staff remaining a challenge, FSG have been proactively seeking solutions at a local level and the NSW Football Legacy Program, funded through the NSW Government, has enabled them to make significant progress over the past 12 months.

Championing Female Coaches

Football St George’s Female Coach Mentoring Program has provided a beacon of support for women in football coaching.

Designed to facilitate the ongoing development of female coaches, the program offers opportunities for participation in community coaching courses, observation of higher-level training sessions, and engagement in training session design workshops; all at no cost.

The Association initiated the program with a vision to encourage and support female coaches along their coaching pathway, with the aim to make it more feasible for female coaches to obtain Community and Advanced coaching qualifications.

Impact on Football St George

The impact within Football St George has been profound. The program has contributed to a 42% increase in registered female coaches in 2023, fostering greater representation and breaking down gender stereotypes.

Transfer of knowledge and skills has elevated coaching proficiency, strategy, and understanding of football among participants. Coaches involved in the program have found opportunities for career advancement, with several securing coaching roles in the Girls Skill Acquisition Program (GSAP).

Brian Dene, Technical Director of FSG was proud of the Program’s local impact.

“The program has played a pivotal role in building confidence among female coaches, empowering them to take on new challenges and leadership roles,” he said.

“A sense of community has flourished, providing vital support for female coaches facing unique challenges in the male-dominated field of football coaching.

“By supporting and advancing female coaches, the mentoring program contributes to a more diverse and inclusive sports environment, fostering positive cultural changes within our football club.”

The Role of Football NSW Grants

Football St George were the successful recipients of a $15,000 NSW Football Legacy Fund Grant (Round 1) in early 2023, which played a significant role in the program’s development.

“The grants from Football NSW have been instrumental in the success and expansion of the Female Coach Mentoring Program at Football St George,” he continued

“Crucial financial support has been utilised for training sessions, resources, events, and workshops, allowing the program to flourish. Additional funding facilitated an expansion that included six more female coaches in 2023, increasing the frequency and duration of mentoring sessions.

“The program now incorporates workshops, seminars, and specialised training sessions conducted by experienced coaches from State and National Sporting Organisations, such as Football Australia’s Future and Young Matildas Head Coach, Leah Blayney.

“Investment in technology and resources has enhanced the mentoring experience, utilising online platforms for virtual mentoring, educational materials, and communication tools.

“The financial support has (also) enabled Football St George to assess and evaluate the program’s impact, ensuring continuous improvement. Improved outreach efforts have raised awareness about the mentoring program, attracting a more diverse group of female coaches to participate.”

Football St George’s Female Coach Mentoring Program stands as a testament to the positive changes that can be achieved through dedicated support and inclusive initiatives. As the program continues to thrive, it not only transforms the lives of female coaches but also reshapes the landscape of football coaching, promoting diversity, equality, and empowerment.

NSW Football Legacy Program

The NSW Football Legacy Program is 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.

View more information about the NSW Football Legacy Program.

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