The Creating and Developing Coaches initiative, organised by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with the West Riding County FA, was launched in 2016 at Bradford’s Valley Parade, with further events running at West Ham, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town’s grounds. Building on the success of the initiative, the upcoming event will run at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane from 7-9pm.
The networking event will welcome both current and aspiring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches, as well as anyone working with under-represented groups, who wish to further develop their skills and knowledge and to form relationships with football’s key stakeholders in the South Yorkshire region.
The Creating and Developing Coaches initiative was created to provide a space where under-represented groups can highlight barriers, put forward aims and aspirations, learn about development opportunities, and forge relationships with key individuals and organisations.
Event organiser, Dr Daniel Kilvington, Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett, explained: “At present, there are only two black managers in English football out of the 92 professional clubs. And, according to Sporting Equals, only 4.1 percent of senior football coaches employed during the 2016-17 season were BAME, a slight decrease on the previous campaign. Considering that BAME groups represent over a quarter of professional players, it is evident that BAME coaches are marginalised in the professional game.
“At a professional level, the Rooney Rule and the COACH programme have been introduced to address this issue. But, at grassroots level, action has been slow. Therefore, Creating and Developing Coaches attempts to challenge the under-representation of BAME groups within grassroots football and create the next generation of coaches.”
Ahmed Elturabi, a Coach at Wigton Moor Junior AFC in Leeds, attended the event held at Elland Road in October 2016. He said: “The event helped me to take stock of what I wanted from coaching and reconsider what I could actually achieve. It made me appreciate that I have a real tangible opportunity to get on and do something I love full-time, full-on, day-in, day-out.
“Without Creating and Developing Coaches, I wouldn't have sat down and thought about a five-year coaching plan. Whether I get there or not is up to circumstance and hard work, but believing it's possible wouldn't have happened without the event."
Creating and Developing Coaches works in partnership with experienced football coaches in the professional and grassroots game as well as influential organisations such as County FAs, Black and Asian Coaches Association (BACA), Sporting Equals, and Kick It Out, offering their guidance, help and support for the attending coaches.
The event is free for all to attend, however it is specifically tailored to understand and meet the aspirations of football’s under-represented communities and those who currently, or aspire to, coach within football and want to learn how to: create and develop clubs; access coaching courses; speak with experienced coaches and coach mentors; and develop a professional career within football.
Attendees of previous Creating and Developing Coaches events have benefited from securing links with local professional clubs, while other participants have taken advantage of coaching qualification courses offered at discount rates.