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Women’s admin course shows way

The course was led by FIFA instructor Emy Casaletti-Bwalya and focused mainly on taking the participants through how to successfully develop a girls and women’s development plan within their clubs, as well as covering the marketing of female football, leadership skills, managing a budget and developing sponsorship proposals.
The course content aligned closely with New Zealand Football’s Quality Club Mark programme, which makes it mandatory for clubs to have a women’s football coordinator.
Casaletti-Bwalya delivered the course at Bruce Pulman Lodge in Papakura and believes the female game in this country has strong foundations which can now be further built upon.
“Overall, New Zealand women’s football is very advanced in terms of world standards,” she says.
“With seven fulltime development officers, all with official vehicles penetrating the country on a mission to increase the number of female participants, women’s football is on the fast track to success,” she adds.
“This, coupled with the right ideas, strategies and the enthusiasm displayed in this group, means they can surely achieve their desired targets to grow the women’s game. There is a bright future ahead for women’s football in New Zealand.”
New Zealand Football women’s development manager Holly Nixon was delighted with the outcomes of the course but says those learnings must now be followed through on if the women’s game is to continue its rapid rate of development.
“We have achieved the first step of professionalising the management of women’s football in New Zealand,” Nixon says.
“Our wish is to develop administrators within clubs so they can better support women’s football and the implementation of female-focused programmes. We have now set the standard but are only at the beginning of the pathway of forming a network of dedicated individuals with the vision of developing girls and women’s football.”
Nixon felt the course reinforced the uniqueness of the New Zealand football community and the differences between each region, as well as highlighting some examples of outstanding work already being done.
“For example, Andrew Kirk from Papatoetoe AFC, whose social media presence and strategy is exceptional. Healthy debate was generated around how he may take it to the next level and produce greater visibility which in turn could benefit his sponsorship proposal,” she says.
“Another success story is Sue Tilby from Papamoa FC. After attending the course she developed a sponsorship proposal and was able to gain funding for an U-8 girls football tournament that she is organising.”
Ellerslie AFC’s Hayley Gleeson was one of the 30 other volunteer administrators in attendance and found the course highly inspiring.
“There was a large focus on women being assertive, resilient and making changes in the game,” she says.
“In my community, I believe I have the space and opportunity to influence young females in the sport.”
Fellow participant Simon Bryant, from Mount Maunganui Junior FC, was just as enthused about the content.
“It opened many doors in my mind and got me thinking outside the square of how we can grow the girls and women’s game, in particular at grassroots level,” he says.
“I am going to take the information and skills I learned back into my club environment. I plan to look at our current structure and then apply the skills gained at the course to develop a strategic plan.”
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football

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