Source: BT Sport

Step over the Sidelines

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England Football Learning hold community events with County FAs to give females chance to ‘Step over the Sidelines’ into coaching roles.

On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July, England Football Learning’s ‘Stepping over the Sidelines Weekend’ will take place in partnership with 20 County FAs. With sessions running from Cornwall to Lancashire, the weekend will be a celebration of female coaches and role models across grassroots football.

With all eyes on the Lionesses as they depart for Australia for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, The FA’s education department is driving participation in the grassroots game by growing its network of female coaches and volunteers on home soil. Taking place just three weeks before the Lionesses play their first fixture of the tournament, the weekend looks to inspire the next generation of coaches and mentors to help the players of tomorrow.

With more than 285,000 girls taking part in the Biggest Ever Football Session earlier this year, the need for positive role models to inspire young girls and show them they have a place in the game has never been greater – whether that be at school, after school, at local clubs, or anywhere else.

‘Stepping over the Sidelines’ is a free local workshop, designed to offer mums, female guardians, helpers, assistants, and young leaders the opportunity to have a first look at how they could get involved in football in a friendly and relaxed environment. The workshop also gives a flavour of the next steps for anyone who might like to consider getting involved, including the entry level EE Playmaker and Introduction to Coaching Football courses.

A prize draw will be running at all venues hosting workshops over the weekend, with 150 prizes available offering free access to popular England Football Learning courses including its Safeguarding Children, Introduction to First Aid in Football and Introduction to Coaching Football courses. Every attendee across the weekend will have the opportunity to enter the prize draw, with each winner gaining access to all three courses which are worth £160.

Bex Garlick, National Coach Development Lead in the Women’s Game at The FA said of the event: “Coaching can drive such incredible and positive change within the sport, and with girls’ and women’s football increasing year-on-year participation wise there has never been a better time to get involved.

Since October 2021, there’s been a 17% increase in female affiliated players across all levels of the game, a 30% increase in female registered football teams, and a 15% increase in female youth teams –made up of girls aged between 5-18 years old – so ‘Stepping over the Sidelines’ is hugely important.

With the support of the County FAs the weekend will help us not only shine a light on the role of coaching, but also celebrate female role models in the grassroots game as allies to anyone wanting to take their first steps into the role. Thank you to everyone helping to make it happen, and to those who come along to find out more.”

To find more about the weekend, and how you can get involved head to

With thanks to MatchFit