Football Coaching / Community Degrees

2nd Half

Sean’s story: Volunteering benefits education pathway with University of South Wales

Sean Rowlinson, a 22-year-old volunteer from Wigan Athletic Community Trust, is embarking on an educational pathway with the University of South Wales (USW).

Studying a two-year foundation degree with USW in Community Football Coaching and Development, which is run in partnership with EFL Trust, Sean first volunteered for Wigan Athletic Community Trust 18 months ago when he assisted in the delivery of P.E schools.

His involvement with volunteering has propelled his individual development and he believes his experiences will benefit him hugely whilst he completes his degree.

He said: “Volunteering has really helped me to develop my skills and allowed me to take my experiences into a professional coaching environment.

“I’ve volunteered at different schools around the Wigan area as a part of Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s commitment to delivering quality P.E, and have also been involved in disability football too so I’ve covered a wide range of aspects which has benefitted me greatly.”

Alongside the academic element of the USW degree, students complete up to 200 hours of voluntary coaching within the community allowing the students to embed and develop the coaching techniques learnt within lectures.

“Volunteering has been hugely beneficial for me because it’s given me that pathway into coaching which is what I love doing.

“I started volunteering when I was doing my early coaching qualifications where I achieved the FA Level 1 & 2 coaching badges, but learnt that it was crucial for me to continue my development and gain my multi-skills too so I could work in schools.

“I was asked if I wanted to go on the University of South Wales’ football coaching course, and my volunteering hours will definitely help me to continue to gain experiences in this area.

“Volunteering has not only helped me to gain coaching experience, it has helped me start a new education pathway which otherwise I may not have had.”

To find out more about the USW foundation degree in Community Football Coaching and Development visit –

To find out more about Wigan Athletic Community Trust visit –

PNE winger quizzed by young fans

Preston North End’s January signing Daryl Horgan has already acquainted himself with the next generation of Preston North End supporters.

Horgan, alongside several other first-team players made an appearance at PNE’s February half-term soccer school to meet participants and sign all sorts of personalised memorabilia.

North End’s soccer schools are ran by the Preston North End Community and Education Trust and are hosted every school holiday where youngsters imitate their heroes on the pitch and meet them off it.

Daryl took time out from the meet and greet to face his toughest interview since arriving on British soil with young PNE fans Alfie and Luke who had been enjoying the soccer camp ran at the PNE Community Training Centre.

Armed with a camera and plenty of questions, the PNE duo quizzed Daryl on a variety of topics before handing the Irishman with a personalised card from the pair stating their gratitude for the interview.

Watch the hilarious interview between the trio here now:

To find out more about Preston North End Community and Education Trust visit –

Rotherham United in search for missing Lotto winner

Rotherham United FC and its Community Sports Trust has joined in the search to help find a missing Lotto Millionaire Raffle winner from a ticket bought in the Rotherham Metropolitan Council Area.

The winner has until 23rd February 2017 to claim this life-changing sum of money, which is worth £50,000 and the winning Lotto Millionaire Raffle code is GREY 1431 4050.1.

The National Lottery has invested over £5 billion in grassroots sport to date, with Rotherham United Football Club and its Community Sports Trust just one of those that has benefitted having received almost £400,000 worth of National Lottery funding.

Through the power of sport, Rotherham Community Sports Trust’s overall aim is to get as many people as possible leading healthy lifestyles. They have used the National Lottery funding to focus on inclusion, mental health and specific outreach projects in the local community to ensure everyone has access to sporting facilities. These include everything from football and fishing, curling and table tennis.

Jamie Noble, Head of the Community Sports Trust at Rotherham United FC, said: “The trust relies on charitable donations. The funding we received from The National Lottery has allowed us to engage with even more people and encourage more people than ever to make use of and benefit from our facilities.

“We are delighted to support the hunt for the missing ticket-holder and hope we find that lucky Rotherham winner.”

If no one comes forward with the winning ticket before the prize claim deadline, then the prize money, plus all the interest it has generated, will go to help National Lottery-funded projects across the UK. The National Lottery changes the lives of individuals as well as communities – players raise, on average, over £30 million for National Lottery-funded projects every week.

With all National Lottery draws, players have 180 days from the day of the draw to claim their prize if they have the winning ticket. Anyone who has any queries or who believes they have the winning ticket for any of the National Lottery draws within the 180-day deadline should call the National Lottery Line on 0844 338 7551 or email [email protected]

For more information about Rotherham Community Sport Trust visit –

LGBT History month: Wigan Athletic’s U18 players support Football v Homophobia

February is LGBT History month in the UK and EFL clubs across the country are showing their support.

Wigan Athletic’s Academy participated in a Football v Homophobia (FvH) workshop at Christopher Park training ground on Wednesday afternoon to raise awareness about homophobia in football and society.

First and second year scholars discussed the international campaign to tackle homophobia and prejudice against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in football with FvH representative Louise Englefield.

The aim of Football v Homophobia is to make football safe and welcoming for everyone. They create opportunities and promote engagement of LGBT people in football at all levels and in all forms, improve representation and visibility throughout football and realise the potential of football in society as a tool to create positive change.

Louise, said: “We’re trying to make football a more inclusive place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We have seen a lot of positive changes over recent years, but we feel there is still some work to be done to make sure everyone feels welcome in football.

“We hope the players will take away with them a desire to be careful about the language they use, not to make assumptions about people or stereotype, to value each other as individuals and to really take that into their playing careers so that they’re role models for inclusion in the game.”


Second year scholar Charlie Forecast, who attended the FvH workshop, believes raising awareness is vitally important for the future of the game.

He said: “The workshop was very insightful and a great idea. The biggest thing was making all of us aware of how big the campaign now is.

“The fact the campaign is so big tells us all that something needs to be done. If we can start from a young age accepting all people in football, it will benefit the game as a whole.”

This weekend, Wigan Athletic will be showing their support for the Football v Homophobia campaign when they host Preston North End at the DW Stadium. Wigan Pride will also be in attendance and the Latics’ first team players will be warming up in the FvH t-shirts.

Jonathan Jackson, Chief Executive of Wigan Athletic, who attended the FvH workshop on Wednesday added: “The Together programme is all about challenging discrimination and making staff aware that they should treat people equally and fairly. It’s about working together, thinking together and communicating together internally. We believe this is very important at this club.

“The event was fantastic and it’s great that Louise from Football v Homophobia visited Christopher Park to enhance the young players’ education, because it’s really important they better their understanding of the subject.”

To find out more about Football v Homophobia visit –


Paul’s story: “Walking football has helped cure my depression”

After being diagnosed with depression, Paul Stephens’ mental health led him to contemplate taking his own life. However, he has made an inspiring recovery which he dedicates to the discovery of walking football and work of the Leyton Orient Trust.

Walking football, as the name suggests, is a slow paced version of the game which is aimed specifically at the over 50’s. It is part of EFL Trust’s #2ndHalf campaign to encourage older adults to stay active and is run by most EFL clubs.

During his time on the walking football programme at Leyton Orient Trust, Paul has found a new lease of life in his passion for the game, and was keen to emphasise the positive impact that walking football has had on his mental health.

”It came along at the right time for me and I’m not sure where I would be if I hadn’t discovered it. It has benefited my life enormously,” said Paul.

”I was a typical kid. All I wanted to do was play for Arsenal since the age of six, but I stopped around 16 or 17. After that, I had flirtations with 5-a-side when the doctor said I should try to get into sport again.”

The 50 year-old who works in the transport industry originally tried out for a veteran’s team, before being directed from East Ham to Orient’s walking football programme which was formed in October 2015.

Today the programme has around 40 people on the register with the average attendance for a Tuesday session peaking at 14, and Paul is proof that the scheme has certainly made a difference.

”Walking football means so much to me and whoever invented it deserves a medal. Everybody is included and we all get a game.

”It is not a win at all costs scenario, one of our members will work out everyone’s game time beforehand so that we all get a chance to play.”

Last month also saw the programme earn recognition within the borough as the Leyton Orient Trust received the Physical Activity and Health Project Award at the Waltham Forest Feel Good Sports Awards 2016, and having benefitted from the programme first hand, Paul ended with a message to anybody who finds themselves in a similar position to himself to get involved with walking football.

”Depression is a big issue, what would make my year is if somebody suffering with depression got into walking football, I’d be really happy.” he added.

”If there is somebody like me sitting at home come on down, there are lots of genuine guys here who are appreciative of being given a second chance.”

To find out more about walking football and our #2ndHalf campaign visit –

To find out more about Leyton Orient Trust visit –



EVERY PLAYER COUNTS: Down’s Syndrome football sessions

Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Down Syndrome football sessions provide children and young people more opportunities to play sport in a comfortable and competitive environment.

Through the power of football and the Every Player Counts project, the scheme creates a multi-tier learning environment that improves the participants’ overall physical, social and emotional health.

While participants learn physical skills, they are simultaneously increasing their own social and emotional abilities.

Approximately 85 per cent of people with Down’s Syndrome attend mainstream school. Having the ability to train and play at a similar level increases their ability to reap all of the potential benefits.

One of the participants who attends the sessions every week, 5 year-old Evan White, has significantly progressed physically, technically and socially through the sessions.

His Dad Jamie said: ”We were contacted by Martin who’s one of the coaches, we knew him through the Shropshire Down Syndrome Association. He told us about the sessions and at that point Evan wasn’t really playing any football so we thought it would be good to introduce him to the game through these sessions at the football club.

”He’s really enjoyed the sessions and it’s been great for him to have the opportunity to play football with some children at the same age and ones that are older as well.”

Because of Evan’s exceptional efforts he was nominated and won the ‘Outstanding Effort in the Disability Programme’ award at Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s 21st Celebration Event.

evan white 1

Evan’s Dad continued: ”This was a proud moment as I have watched Evan grow and to see him smartly dressed and come up and receive an award in front of 180 people was extremely impressive.

”The coaches have done a great job in getting him interested in football and his skills have really improved. I just hope he continues playing because he’s really enjoying it.”

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) has been a key partner in making this project work. The DSA is the only organisation in the UK solely dedicated to living successfully with Down’s Syndrome (DS) with an aim of helping people with Down’s Syndrome live a full and rewarding life.

DSActive Sports Officer Matt Maguire said: ”Shrewsbury Town are our 32nd football team that we have set up with community trusts in the country.

”It’s a good chance for participants to not only play football but to make new friends.”

The Down’s Syndrome sessions take place at Shrewsbury Sports Village from 5.30-6.30pm every Tuesday.

This project is a part of Every Player Counts, a programme formed in September 2016 which supports the EFL Trust’s aim of increasing sports participation for all.

The landmark project was made possible thanks to a £1.1M donation from the Wembley National Stadium Trust (WNST).

To find out more about Every Player Counts visit –

To find out more about Shrewsbury Town in the Community visit –

England manager opens £1M facility at Burton Albion Community Trust

Burton Albion Community Trust’s (BACT’s) new floodlit all-weather pitch was officially unveiled by England Senior Manager Gareth Southgate today. 

The new facility was made possible thanks to a £843,510 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

BACT worked alongside the Football Foundation and Staffordshire FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) – a long-term vision of how sport will be played at the new facility.

As set out in this FDP, BACT will raise multisport participation through its Health and Wellbeing, Education and Learning, School Sport, and Inclusive Sports and Football Development departments, which aim to get more people physically active through a number of different sports.

BACT’s mission statement as with all 72 EFL community trusts is to use the power of sport and the brand of the football club to make a difference in the community.

Gareth Southgate, the former England defender, who has been an Ambassador for the Football Foundation since 2005, was also given a tour of the new changing room pavilion and clubhouse, which is expected to be completed before Easter.

The new state-of-the-art football hub, which replaces a previously undeveloped area of the Brewers’ Pirelli Stadium, will house a huge range of sporting, educational and community programmes delivered by Burton Albion Community Trust.

A number of local grassroots clubs will also call the new pitch ‘home’, with Stretton Eagles FC, Outwoods FC and Burton Ladies helping to contribute to the projected 127 new teams who will be using the new pitch over five years.

DEIH20170214A-020_C.JPG Picture: Ian Hodgkinson England manager Gareth Southgate has formally opening the new BACT community pitch at the Pirelli stadium

England Manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “Throughout my career I’ve always been a big supporter of the grassroots game, and state-of-the-art facilities like this one are its lifeblood. Floodlit all-weather pitches allow football to be played all-year-round, irrespective of the weather. This means more people, more often, taking part in the sport.

“As a professional, I have been lucky enough to train, play and coach on some of the best facilities in the country. I believe that those who train, play or coach at the grassroots level should be afforded the same experience. That means building facilities like this one right across the country, something the Football Foundation continues to do, expertly.

“The Small Sided Game, which was helped by a £1.5m commitment delivered by the Football Foundation, was something I helped to drive when I was The FA’s Head of Elite Development. That scheme, which I’m delighted to see being catered for here, allows younger players to play on smaller pitches, with smaller goals. It is designed to develop an individual’s skills, rather than reward children based on their physical strength.

“It makes a massive difference in driving up participation in our national game. And ultimately all future England players – whether it is the women’s teams, disability teams, youth teams or indeed in the senior men’s team – all of them will start out and develop their skills in the grassroots game, and on grassroots facilities. So whether for pure enjoyment or for supporting the development of home-grown talent, the more of these fantastic sites we see built, the better.”

BACT Chief Executive, Andy Taylor, said: “This facility has only been made possible by the commitment and hard work of all our partners – starting with Burton Albion Football Club for allowing the development of this important new community facility at the Pirelli Stadium.

“As well as the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund providing the major funding we also need to thank all of our local funders who have helped make this happen.

To find out more about Burton Albion Community Trust visit –

NCS motivates student to go to University

The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme has impacted numerous young people’s lives in a positive way but none more than Sheffield Wednesday supporter Cara Harrison.

The bubbly teenager has transformed herself from a shy high school student who was unsure what her next steps would be to being accepted by four universities to study Biomedical Science.

Cara puts her new self-found confidence and belief down to her experiences as an NCS student with the Owls and believes NCS played a crucial role in helping her obtain a place at university.

On Friday, Sheffield Wednesday will be hosting their annual NCS match day when Birmingham City visit Hillsborough, live in front of the Sky cameras.

Cara, who still supports the NCS programme at Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme on a voluntary basis, hopes more people will follow her path and say yes to NCS.

“It is good that clubs participate in NCS match day and important that we spread the word.

“Everyone needs to be clear how much of a positive programme NCS is and how it can help young people.

“The NCS has done a lot for me so I want to carry on helping and raising awareness for the programme.

“I had to step out of my comfort zone when I joined the programme, however it was fun and perfect to do in-between finishing school and starting college.

“The NCS is something that everyone should be doing and I have so many lifetime fond memories from my time on the programme. Because of the NCS, I have met some good friends now and I wouldn’t have met them if I didn’t join.

“My confidence instantly boosted and my communication skills improved. I can now talk in front of a crowd of people I don’t know and feel good about it whereas I didn’t before NCS.

“The NCS has taught me independence and responsibility. It will be always something I look back on fondly.”


Cara will this year be an NCS mentor for Sheffield Wednesday before heading off to university in September, with her destination of study yet to be decided.

She continued: “I want to be a genetic health scientist now and the NCS swayed my decision. I knew I wanted to do that degree, but I didn’t realise how many good opportunities were at the end of it.

“I remember writing my University application and it heavily referenced the NCS and my experiences. There was so much to write about the NCS because the opportunities are endless.”

The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme has a proven success rate of helping 15-17 year olds build their confidence levels and develop important life skills. It is a chance for teens to shake things up and develop new skills for whatever post-GCSE life has to throw at them. It changes how teens see the world and has a huge impact on communities across the UK with over 1.9 million hours of social action taking place across the country – the equivalent to building 74 Olympic Stadiums and 1 The Great Wall of China.

To find out how you can get involved in the NCS programme visit –