David Roach (Youth Development Manager) is part of dedicated team of 85 volunteers looking after 34 teams that include girls, ladies, boys and under 21s. On top of that RTJFC have young leaders aged between 14 and 16 that assist managers and coaches. The Club funds the young leaders embarking on their coaching badges and they now have four coaches managers at the ripe old age of 18 and 19. NCFA’s Paul Cooper delivered a football for fun coaching session for boys, girls, mums and dads which ended up with a well deserved cup of tea back in the club house.
David Roach (DR).
(DR). The Club is totally independent in terms of financial support. We do have local sponsors for kit, equipment and facilities etc. We are also very active in seeking pots of money to develop the ground or improve the facilities, plus helping support girls football. For instance, we recently received one thousand two hundred pounds sport event money which is through Warwickshire Sport to facilitate Futsal sessions in schools for girls 14-18. Basically the target area is girls and getting them back into sport. We have been successful in getting our coaches out in the community delivering age appropriate coaching sessions. We work well in partnership with Strachan Football Foundation with their senior coaches running our sessions and providing support on a number of practical levels. We manage to pay the coaches and at the same time have a stream of revenue going back into the club which provides long term sustainability and a strong foundation for the future.
Give Us Back Our Game?
(DR). When I started out coaching 15 years ago I had no idea about setting up children’s football sessions. I came across Give Us Back Our Game and Paul Cooper’s work through various publications and felt inspired, so over the years I have got to know him and he has helped me develop as a coach. Through coaching workshops we have visited Holland and witnessed at first hand their grass roots structure and amazing facilities. I, and many like me consider Paul to be 15 years ahead of his time, the FA’s age appropriate model is testament. We continue to book him at the club – the kids absolutely love him and the parent volunteer coaches always enjoy his sessions.
(DR). The new youth modules level one / level two are very useful and relevant but again it is cost they are around a hundred pound plus, you have to give up your weekend to attend them and that is a difficult task for many busy parents. I have asked the FA for pint size programmes covering four hour sessions in order to help support those of us that need flexibility. I think little and often is the way forward. Maybe we can ask the football volunteer workforce to top-up their education rather than drop out and pop back in every 10 years or so.
Parent Coaching Culture?
(DR). I think parents place more emphasis on coaching their kids now than they did fifteen years ago. For instance, the working patterns around Rugby have changed four on – four off, continental shifts with Saturdays now a working day. All these changes have took place and people have had to adapt to accommodate their interests in coaching their children, hence, why clubs like Rugby meet their needs to be flexible.
Coaches then / coaches now?
(DR). I think grassroots coaches now are less valued than they were way back. Some parents take it for granted that there will always be someone available to do the coaching. Parents are use to after school clubs, youth clubs and clubs in general providing their kids social time. I think when there wasn’t any provision parents would have to muck in and now I just think parents are spoilt for choice.
(DR). We probably have around 20 partnerships at the club from National Children’s Football Alliance, Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership (WREP) and a Rugby Area Network Council which I attend and generally share community ideas to help one another. It is through networking that we are able to access revenue streams which were previously not available to us, so partnership working is very important to us.
(DR). The facility gives value to a number of organisations. For instance, WREP engage the local Asian community organising small sided games for girls which the Club value tremendously in terms of social inclusion. It is like anything really the more you network the more valued your work becomes.
(DR). Like ninety nine percent of dads my six year old son got into football and there was this space to come and play. I made the fatal mistake when someone asked me to help out at the club and the bug got me more and more. I love what I do and love learning from people like Paul Cooper it is as simple as that.
(DR). Grass roots football is an education process. One of the things we do is that we have got a pack which helps the player and the parents which ultimately supports the Club.
For more information contact rugbytownfc.co.uk