Nineteen coaches from eight Oceania Football Confederation Member Associations will take part in the region’s first FIFA/OFC C-Licence course run specifically for females next week.

The five-day course in Christchurch will feature experienced female coaches Debbie Fisher, Stephanie Spielmann, Margaret Aka and April Heinrichs as educators, while time spent at Football Ferns training sessions and a game, with the team in Christchurch to play South Korea, will be incorporated into the programme.

A member of the Football Ferns staff will also appear as a guest speaker at the course.  

Designed specifically for female coaches and delivered by women working at the top of the game, participants will learn from role models who will help them succeed back in their own environments at Member Association level.

OFC Women’s Football Manager Emma Evans said the course will play a vital role in the development of female coaches across the Pacific, and supports the ALL IN: OFC Women’s Football Strategy launched last year, which aims to build a stronger, equal, visible, elevated and inclusive Oceania.

“This C-Licence allows us to build capacity and develop female coaches both on and off the pitch, and will give them the confidence and the tools to further develop individual players, teams and football in their home countries,” Evans said.

“The opportunity for females to connect with others on a female-only course is key to ensuring that they have a positive learning experience that enables them to have a positive impact in their communities. 

“In designing a course tailored to females, we are breaking down the barriers to attend a coaching course, with research showing us that females interested in coaching may not feel comfortable taking part in general mixed gender courses.

“We have identified an excellent group of staff to deliver the course which will also inspire and provide excellent role models for those attending.”

Coach educators will also have access to a mentor for the duration of the C-Licence, meaning that all involved will have the opportunity for development.