CEO Blog 6

CEO Blog 17-18

Issue 6

This week features The FA Dementia study, Nather Al-Khatib & our inclusion work and Borrussia Monchenflapjack!

The FA - Dementia Study

FA Dementia Study

I watched the recent BBC programme Dementia, Football and me with great interest. The documentary followed Alan Shearer as he looked in depth at the possible risks associated with heading a football, and the claims made to that effect by ex-professionals who have suffered from Dementia.

The clear message at the end of Shearer’s programme was that in his case there was no evidence of any adverse effects. However it was also acknowledged that there was very little medical evidence either way as a result of a lack of scientific study in this claim.

I was pleased to see this week The Football Association, in partnership with the PFA, rectify this situation by announcing ‘an independent research study into the incidence of degenerative neurocognitive disease in ex-professional footballers’:

All parties feel that this is overdue and while it will focus on ex-professionals, we will be watching closely to see if there are any possible effects on the grassroots game.

Building our Inclusion team 

I have spoken in previous weeks about the importance of getting new people involved in our work. This week I met Nather Al-Khatib, a hugely impressive individual with a real passion for coaching, as you’ll see from his twitter account:

Nather is not only a very well qualified and clearly gifted football coach, holding as he does the UEFA B award; he also works in the Cambridge United Academy as well having other roles in adult football. He is also a very humble man who speaks openly about his football journey, and the barriers he has had to overcome to get this far. 

Nather is exactly the sort of person we need to drive forward with our work to develop coaches, and also to be able to reach out to new people from diverse backgrounds. As such I welcome Nather to our Inclusion Advisory Group, where he will lead on coaching, as well as being the Chair for the group.

I’m really looking forward to working with Nather as he has a real drive and determination to make a difference and to make the path for those who follow him an easier one. 

Cambridgeshire FA Cambs Fives

Top name and top team!

The Cambs 5s @Bottisham 3G league winners were announced this week, and not only do top honours on the pitch go to this team but also the best name:

Congratulations to Borrusia Monchenflapjack on both counts!

Martin Hegley, our Development Officer at the Bottisham 3G,captured the spirit and the benefits of the event perfectly by saying: ‘It was gratifying to see how competitive the league was given the mix of newly formed,young and veteran based teams…Everyone involved has improved their fitness (and health) since we began back in July!’

It’s really important that we continue to balance the needs of both the traditional and recreational formats of the game to ensure we continue to grow the total number of participants.

Until next time