Students to Become Activators of the Beautiful Game

Two Hugh Baird College students have been selected by the Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport and the English College’s Football Association (ECFA) to take on a newly formed role that is tasked with raising participation rates in football across the College and the communities within its surrounding areas.

Thanks to Hugh Baird College being a Footballing Hub for AoC Sport, Grace Kearney and Joe Noonan will become ECFA Football Activators. The pair recently attending a day of training at Walsall College aimed at getting them ready to take on the role full time.

Phil Oliver, Football Coaching Tutor at Hugh Baird College said:

“The Further Education Football Activator role is an exciting new football leadership position that aims to give young people realistic experience of working in a football development role. As Activators, Grace and Joe will develop employability skills whilst inspiring more young people to take part in football in whatever capacity suits them. “

Phil continued:

“The role has a focus on increasing participation and Grace and Joe will need to develop their leadership and skill development skills in order to engage female, disabled and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) participants in the beautiful game.”

In addition to the day session Grace and Joe attended at Walsall College, a full training and development programme is in place from ECFA. This will then be complemented by advice and guidance from trained and experienced staff at Hugh Baird College.

Adam Broomhead, Hugh Baird College Sport Maker, who is also a Football Activator, added:

“This is a new and innovative concept. The partnership between AoC Sport, ECFA and The FA sees investment into colleges to develop the student and staff workforce in order to grow college and community football.”
“As an organisation, Hugh Baird College are delighted to be part of the first wave of college’s to help roll out this initiative. It will not only impact on the growth of the game, but also support more students to become active and help drive education, employment and health objectives across the college.”

Hugh Baird College Football Activator, Grace Kearney, said:

“I can’t wait to get started. We have lots of different ideas about how to introduce football to others around the college. We plan on holding football challenges between different departments, intend to increase the numbers of females playing for the College’s ladies team and will also be looking in to holding a tournament for the students with Special Educational Needs.”

Nick Hawkins, AoC Sport Football Activator Administer, said:

“The Football Activator initiative is a brand new concept that AoC Sport has brought in this academic year. We have around 100 colleges signed up to the program to help impact not only college football but also football within their own local community. We look forward to working with Hugh Baird College and their activators over the course of this academic year.”

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