Kent’s nationally acclaimed Street Soccer Foundation is delighted to announce that on International Women’s Day 2018, the Foundation is to launch a Women’s Street Soccer Academy, in partnership with the Kent FA.
Following the recent expansion of the Street Soccer Academy across Kent, which is delivered in partnership with Gillingham Football Club and the Club’s Community Trust; the Foundation’s CEO & Founder, Keith Mabbutt, was pleased to announce the commitment to the women’s version of the successful development programme, to be made available specifically for vulnerable young women aged between 18-24.
Mabbutt said: “Over the past season we’d identified with the fact that we had only selected one or two young women onto our Academy courses each time. The large majority of participants have been young men. After speaking with the few young women taking part and to some of our Community Partners and Coaches, we realised that launching a separate Women’s Academy was worth investing in.”
The first Women’s Street Soccer Academy will run from Tuesday 1st May later this year and be delivered over 10 consecutive weeks, in partnership with the Kent Football Association.
Keith added: “We’ve been speaking with the Kent FA for a while about this project and they have been able to see our work with our Maidstone Academy at K Sports. Both parties agreed that supporting young women in this way was something we were firmly committed to doing and as such we agreed to tie in the delivery of an FA Level 1 in Coaching Football Award, as part of the overall learning and development for female participants.”
Up to 15 spaces are to be made available to women aged between 18-24. To be eligible to apply, individuals must be out of work, education or training. The Academy also welcomes applications from those who are currently homeless or in any type of supported or social housing.
The Street Soccer Foundation intends to provide a Taster Day for the Women’s Academy during the FA Girls’ Football Week, on Wednesday 25th April, from 12 Noon til 3pm at K Sports. This will provide an opportunity to meet the team and ask any questions ahead of applying for an official place on the course. The day will offer practical football coaching, lunch and a Q&A for all those who attend.
The Academy itself will then run weekly every Tuesday from 1st May until 3rd July 2018. Weekly sessions will be full days and offer a fusion of football coaching and workshops as well as the chance to secure nationally recognised qualifications in Safeguarding and Emergency First Aid.
Natalie Curtis, of the Kent FA, said: “At Kent FA we pride ourselves on trying to pull down all barriers for people to engage with football in some capacity. Our work with Street Soccer will now allow 15 young women to access nationally recognised qualifications and hopefully inspire them to become the next generation of coaches and volunteers in Kent.
Crucial to the decision to launch the Women’s Street Soccer Academy was the desire to champion female talent and aim to raise awareness in a bid to bring about a change in attitudes to women working in football, and address the gender imbalance in the industry.
Young women coming onto the course will be able to learn about teamwork, goal-setting, the pursuit of excellence in performance and other achievement-oriented behaviours: all critical skills necessary for success in the workplace.
Ultimately, the intention is to encourage more women to get involved in football across the board. The Street Soccer Foundation wants to support vulnerable young women and provide a pathway into the game at the playing and coaching level. By fusing the Academy delivery with the ability to attain an FA Level 1 Coaching Award, the Foundation hopes to see many more women achieve their goals, both on and off the pitch.
To Apply for a place on the Women’s Street Soccer Academy email: firstname.lastname@example.org for an Application Form.