Last month’s FIFA/OFC C-Licence course for women held in Christchurch, New Zealand has been hailed a success, with 19 female coaches from eight Member Associations taking part.
The five-day course saw attendees take part in both theory and practical sessions, in addition to observing camp with the Football Ferns who were in Christchurch playing South Korea.
Solomon Islands-based Priscilla Tariga, who currently coaches the Solomon Islands Police women’s team, said she enjoyed learning from the experienced female coaches who facilitated the course, including Debbie Fisher, Stephanie Spielmann, Margaret Aka and April Heinrichs.
“They have excellent knowledge and I really appreciated learning from them,” Tariga said.
“With the course being only for females, participants were able to open up to everybody around, and it was great to have facilitators who were women to also improve confidence among the participants.”
The coaches were able to attend thanks to the FIFA Coach Education Scholarship, and FIFA Senior Technical Manager Belinda Wilson said it was crucial opportunities continue to be provided for girls and women who wish to play, coach, referee and administer the game.
“The outcome of this course was not only the ability to educate, but to strengthen the network of women leaders within the region and empower them to lead the development of women’s football within their own Member Association, and to support each other to lift the game in the region,” Wilson said.
“It is important that we provide opportunities to further the education and development of all girls and women across all regions, and through the FIFA Women’s Football Development Programmes every Member Association can access programmes to support the growth of their women’s game.
“We also had the ability to mentor three female educators through the course, providing further development to local educators.
“The Coach Education Scholarship is a key FIFA Women’s Development Programme that supports two of our FIFA Women’s Football Strategy pillars, ‘Develop and Grow’ and ‘Educate and Empower’.
OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans said course participants will now receive ongoing support and feedback as they continue on their coaching journey back in their respective Member Associations.
“It was really heartening to see the growth in the coaches from the beginning to the end of the course,” Evans said.
“We are now looking forward to seeing the coaches head back to their Member Associations where they can apply their new knowledge and techniques in a practical environment.
“The course was a huge success, and our thanks go to FIFA for their support, Mainland Football for hosting us and of the coaches and facilitators who took part.”