In November, two officers from the Welwyn Hatfield Safety Neighbourhood Police Team completed their FA Level 1 Coaching certificate after receiving bursaries from Stevenage FC Foundation, to support the delivery of the Premier League Kicks project at Gosling Sports Park on Friday nights.
After a successful 12-week summer Kicks programme at the Gosling Leisure Centre, the programme recently received funding to continue delivery for 12 months from Sport England ensuring the Friday 8-10pm slot would continue into 2019 in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Welwyn Hatfield Police, and YMCA.
The programme has been positively supported by the local police, who have a presence at the programme every Friday night, creating assurance for parents that their children are in safe environment late on a Friday, and have also been pro-active in promoting the programme to young people within wards of Welwyn that have been highlighted as having elevated levels of anti-social behaviour.
To add further depth to the partnership and allow the officers to get involved in the football taking place PCSO Mark Randall and PC Richard Wicks were identified by the police as potential candidates suitable to take the Foundation up on their offer to fund their Level 1 journey, that took place at Nicholas Breakspear School in St Albans with Hertfordshire FA.
The Level 1 Course, entitled, “How We Coach The Future Player, How We Support How We Play” was broken down into seven blocks, that took place throughout October, and consisted of a number of theory and practical sessions, as well as Safeguarding and Emergency 1st Aid.
Both officers thoroughly enjoyed the course and wish to continue their coaching journey.
“I would like to pass on how useful and interesting the FA Level 1 was. I learnt so much and surprised how much coaching has changed compared to when I used to play Sunday league football.”
Mark backed this up, “The whole experience was one I would love expand into doing further badges if possible. As Richard has already said the course was very interesting, detailed and enjoyable. From my previous experience in football playing at District and County level as a teenager I can see how much it has all changed. I enjoyed learning all the new techniques and look forward to putting them into practice. I will actively be looking for a team, so I can have some part in their coaching and mentoring. The thought of being able to guide and forge young players into the next generation of footballers is really exciting.”
Foundation Community Engagement Manager, Ozzie Willis who heads up the Premier League Kicks programme for the Foundation said:
“We are delighted to hear about Mark and Richards achievement with their Level 1. Both kept us updated throughout their course and both appeared to have taken lots away from it. This has been another really positive step forward for our relationship with Welwyn Hatfield Police Team, and hopefully we can now utilise Mark and Richard to support with our delivery on the Kicks programme.”
For more information about the Premier League Kicks programme please visit www.stevenagefcfoundation.com/kicks.