Dorset County FA is delighted to welcome Chris Berry to the team as our new Equal Game Ambassador for the Women & Girls’ game.
One of The FA’s ‘game-changer’ objectives from the 2020-24 Grassroots Football Strategy is to ensure that girls have equal access to football, in both schools and clubs.
The 2022/23 season will see the recruitment of a team of Equal Game Ambassadors to provide England Football Accredited football clubs with off-field support in creating, maintaining and developing their female offer to ensure there are inclusive, safe and accessible opportunities available for all girls.
This role is aligned to the introduction of the new ‘Equal Game’ training programme, which is designed to upskill club volunteers to be motivated, knowledgeable, confident and capable to develop more club-based opportunities for women and girls to play, coach, volunteer and / or spectate.
If you are interested in finding out more about this training and want to register your interest to create new or more female football at your club, you can find the new toolkit, resources and expression of interest form HERE
What is your football role?
UEFA B coach and been coaching women’s and girls’ football since 2014. Supported clubs across Dorset and Hampshire from coaching U9s to seniors. Volunteered for UEFA at the Women’s Euros based at Southampton FC.
What do you love about football?
For me, football is a game that provides so many other life lessons – teamwork, problem solving, resilience. Football can instil a variety of values into a person’s life. Whether you are a player, volunteer, ardent fan, you can benefit from the sport aside from being entertained. I have been blessed with the clubs I have coached within to have supportive peers and enthusiastic players who love the game. Seeing people grow as players and as individuals is what makes me so invested in the game.
What do you find a challenge in football?
I have seen the growth of women’s and girls’ football since I started coaching eight years ago. But it has not been without its challenges. Club identity, marketing, volunteer workforce, finance, facilities are examples of challenges that have faced some of the teams I have been honoured with work with. The success of the Lionesses in 2022 and the FA’s continued investment in women’s and girls’ football pathway will help drive the game to new heights if the opportunity to play is there.
Why is the Equal Game Ambassador Role so important?
I want to bring clubs together and share best practices. There are teams who have been successful in overcoming the challenges in football and it would be great to see these ideas shared. All good coaches are ‘magpies’ – seeing something that works wells and trying it for themselves with added personal style. I want the same to happen on a broader scale, with clubs sharing ways to help the game grow.
The Lionesses have raised the profile of the game and I believe there are players out there ready to kick a ball. I recently attended a CPD session on ‘discovering talent’ where FA Talent Technical Coaches mission is to leave no stone unturned when it comes to discovering talent. It would be great to see a club in Dorset creating the opportunity to see such talent grow. Volunteer retention, supporting women throughout their coaching journey and team sponsorship are just a few topics in which ideas can be shared. If you are a club that would benefit from attending ‘Equal Game Training’ or require support, including funding and coach development, please do get in touch as I will be happy to come and visit.
For any further information on Equal Game Training, and to express your interest in working with Chris at your club to help grow female provision, please contact Justine Mosley on email@example.com or 01202 688277.