CEO Blog 7

CEO Blog 17-18

Issue 7

This features Milkgate and its negative effect on grassroots, our Youth Council 17-18 and hot water bottles.

United V City

Milkgate turns Manchester derby sour

The post-match events at the Manchester derby on Sunday not only marred what was otherwise a great global advert for the English Premier League but also caused serious concern for grassroots coaches across the country.

From a media point of view these type of events, going back to Pizzagate and no doubt beyond, provide oodles of content for print, endless interviews and coverage right across social media channels. A coach on a Safeguarding Children Workshop this week described it like this: ‘It really doesn’t help us does it?’

He’s totally right of course. To prove the point, the focus was on this aspect of the game for younger readers of the BBC’s Newsround website:

One of the key areas the workshop is exploring ‘best practice’, so that coaches, parents and children alike all get to know what good looks like in creating a positive environment for kids to have fun, be safe and learn something in order to improve. It is a fairly simple but fundamental message.

We also pursue elements of what makes a good relationship between an adult and a child. The key points are adults behaving as role models, establishing appropriate boundaries, modelling respect and demonstrating the values of fairness, sportsmanship and inclusion.

The incident at Old Trafford has certainly fed the hungry global market for football news, but has done little to support our grassroots coaches who are trying to establish best practice and to show how to build positive relationships within the game.

The big news from the game of the season so far focused on demonstrating that adults can barely uphold any of the values we are trying to teach our children. 

Youth Council

Youth Council 17-18 intake

This year’s crop of young volunteers came together for the first Youth Council meeting of the season this week.

Having written in recent weeks about our Inclusion Advisory Group, it is great to see new faces coming through to share their experiences and needs from the game. To see it through the eyes of young players, coaches and referees is invaluable. The aim of the Youth Council’s work is to help us: 

  • To grow and retain the number of young people playing, volunteering and refereeing in football
  • To raise awareness of opportunities for young people to get involved in football via the Football Futures programme
  • To act as a focus group for the County FA to understand the needs and aspirations of young people involved in the game
  • To support Cambridgeshire FA with the delivery of the National Game Strategy & County Delivery Plan

Katie Critchley (Coaching & Player Development Officer) and Chris Abbott (Volunteer Support Officer) will work with the group and provide the support needed to give the new group ownership of a number of projects to ensure their voice is not only heard but put into action.

It’s cold outside! 

With a nod to the aforementioned Pizzagate incident, Martin Keown was an unlikely defender of Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi’s use of a water bottle in the dugout:

The former Arsenal man confessed to wearing gloves only twice when playing, but wished he’d used methods to keep warm more often. From a safeguarding children perspective, I found Keown’s rather surprising statement very welcome. 

Until next time