Exciting Times Ahead for Youth Football in the County
Cornwall County FA are looking to recruit a group of young leaders from across the county to be called the Youth Council. The Council will be made up of proactive young people aged between 16 & 25. The aim of the Youth Council is to give a voice for young footballers in Cornwall and assist in the shaping of youth football provision whilst working alongside Cornwall FA to try to meet the aims set by the FA Football Strategy. The main objectives will be:-
Creating a Communication platform for Children and Young People.
Supporting more children and young people to play football and stay in the game for longer to address dropout.
Helping to raise standards and create better players.
Significantly influencing young people to volunteer in football in a range of roles to become the coaches, referees and administrators of the future.
We will be interviewing potential candidates in September/October2016.
The Council will be forging strong relationships with Key partners across Cornwall in order to provide a voice and structure for Youth Football, some of these are:-
- CCFA Governance Department
- CCFA Football Development Officers
- CCFA Council members
- FA Regional Youth Council
- FA National Game Youth Council
- Education Team members (BCS, BUCS, ESFA, ISFA)
- BCS TEAM 19 Student Management Team
- BUCS Student Management Team
- ISFA TEAM 16 Student Management Team
- County FAs
- Charter Standard Clubs
- Young People
I'm sure you will be contacted in the future by a member of the Council!
Beth Willshaw represents Cornwall at St. Georges Park July 2016.
Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to you Warren and the Cornwall County FA as I did have a fantastic time and it has been an opportunity to develop in many ways and given me many ideas to take the youth council forward and really make it successful and sustainable.
This year came with the new and improved Football Futures Leadership Academy which focused on developing an individual and their leadership skills in a variety of different roles. This years programme changed from previous years which focused mainly on the specific job role they specialised in such as coaching, refereeing and development.
Once arriving at St Georges Park on Monday 25th July 2016 it was straight into opportunities to network and build rapport with other youth leaders from many different counties in ice breakers whilst everyone arrived. With everyone on site the week was kicked off with the opening ceremony that saw Baroness Sue Campbell give a speech about Women's football, the qualities of a leader and the FA’s targets to double female participation. This inspirational theme started from hearing the Baroness talk only continued through the day as when we were transferred then into the workshops. The workshops of the first day were labelled as Personal Leadership Philosophy and Coaching and Mentoring. Both workshops engaged us all and lead us to deeper thinking about ourselves as leaders. However through these workshops came with a number of welcome interruptions such as talks and opportunities to ask questions from Martin Glenn CEO of the FA and newly appointed England's Men's 1st team manager Sam Allardyce. Both provided an insight into their own leadership journeys and the values they saw as important to becoming a successful leader. The day was finished off with the introduction of Soccersise to the group as an initiative to encourage females into playing football for the first time or as a return.
On day two after energizers in the morning the Youth Council Chair group went into a workshop on questioning, lead by Karl Lines and others, discussing desired outcomes of questions, Which questions to use and how questioning can be beneficial when leading a team. In the afternoon all youth leaders went into a keynote presentation that displayed the FA Changing Lives Programme, the affects it can have on those who take part and the communities they take their learning into. Before the evening activity on day two there was the opportunity for all youth leaders to dress up a bit and attend the annual Football Futures Awards which recognised some really special and influential people within the football futures family. Again to finish the day off was the evening activity, although less physical on this day, gave the chance for youth leaders to network, share best practice and provide ideas and inspiration to the group.
Day three started as normal process with youth leaders getting into regional reflection groups based on their position on the youth council, to reflect on the week, inspire the others around them and share best practice and learning. Day three was rumored to be the most energetic of them all with many hearing that intense, realistic army training was going on all day. So admittedly it was a nice surprise when we realised that Fieri Leadership were not there to put us through grueling fitness sessions. Instead Fieri delivered a number of workshops in the morning that got us as youth leaders thinking about the qualities of leadership and the process to making decisions and followership, how to get the best out of our team. It was then in the afternoon that we got to apply some of the knowledge that was passed on in the morning through a number of physically and mentally challenging tasks such as the navigation of blindfolded team members through an area acting as a minefield. All challenges were based on an overarching task of helping locals who were under attack from rebel forces and this only helped to increase motivation, intensity and pressure of the situation. It was this learning environment that meant that we had to adapt to the team, situation and task very quickly, creating fast and steep learning curves for many of us. Day three concluded in a different way to the usual evening activity as it was the turn of the summer ball, planned and run for Breast Cancer Research. The evening consisted of presentations from youth council members, raffles and prizes with all proceeds going to breast Cancer Research and a disco to finish the night. This night really made a team of youth leaders and helped create friendships that will last even now the week has finished.
The last day of camp started in the usual way with energizers and reflection groups. After this was the start of the workshop for the day that for the Youth Council Chair group focused on Working with your CEO. This workshop showed that there are many ways of working effectively with the Youth Council Team and the county FA staff members and that a rapport between the two are very important in the sustainability of the Council. All youth leaders then congregated together and took part in a keynote presentation on Planning and Prioritising. In regional groups we were then able to reflect as individuals and regions what learning we have acquired and the potential next steps and ideas we had. As the end of the day drew nearer and the closing ceremony started, it came to realisation that everyone was going home and this inspirational and motivating week was over. However there was still time before everyone left for the last bit of influence and it came in the form of a speech from the England women 1st Team Head Coach Mark Sampson. Mark Sampson’s speech gave an idea into his leadership journey, the challenges he had faced with the England Women's team and some of the methods he used to overcame them, helping the team achieve 3rd in the 2015 World Cup. It was at the end of Mark Sampson’s speech that all involved in the week had to say goodbye to each other and make the journey home.
It is now that i would like to give the biggest of thank you's to everyone that was involved in the week, the many youth leaders that attended and provided endless amounts of support, motivation and inspiration. Especially the South West team that have already continued that since being home. The Youth Leader Mentors that helped to guide us through our learning, reflection and progress. Special shout out to Alix Tucker and Sarah Nickless who mentored myself and others from the south west through the week. A thank you must go the FA staff that helped to deliver the inspiring and influential workshops that gave us so many ideas and thoughts to take home with us. Not only a thank you but also a congratulations to all the FA National Game Youth Council members who planned and delivered a world class week full of memories.
This week was a memorable one that has given me an abundance of motivation to take back my learning and apply it within at home in Cornwall. I look forward to the upcoming season and working hard to ensure that it is a success both personally and for the Youth Council.