FFA launches Grassroots Football Month

Football Federation Australia (FFA) in partnership with all nine Member Federations is pleased to announce that ‘Grassroots Football Month’ will be delivered across the country in March 2012.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) in partnership with all nine Member Federations is pleased to announce that ‘Grassroots Football Month- will be delivered across the country in March 2012.

“We urge all members of the community to embrace the game throughout March in recognition of Grassroots Football Month,” said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

“This is an opportunity for all members of the large and diverse football community to get involved and take another step in their football journey, whether it be as a player, volunteer, coach, administrator or referee.”

Focusing primarily on FFA-s introductory level for football participation - Optus Small Sided Football, the essence of Grassroots Football Month serves three main objectives.

Members of the community will be able to attend coach education sessions, in particularly, free Grassroots Football Certificate courses; attend and participant in free Game Leader and Instructor Referee courses; and opportunities for children aged between 5-11 years to become involved in football through various clubs across Australia.

The Grassroots Coaching Certificate is a three hour course aimed at beginner coaches and teachers of players up to 7 years of age. It is designed to provide candidates with a basic understanding of their role as a coach and to provide them with practical ideas for training sessions. Complementing the course is the coaching manual called ‘Football For Kids-.

The Optus Small Sided Football Game Leader and Instructing Referee courses are designed to provide the necessary skills and knowledge to supervise and manage games from U6-U11 levels.

Finally, and most importantly, all Member Federations will be actively promoting and facilitating sign-up days around the country, in particular children aged between 5-11 to link up with football clubs and associations in their area. FFA Community Football Ambassadors - Brett Emerton recalls his days playing grassroots football in NSW and how it contributed to his development in becoming an elite football.

"I started out with my local community club, Gunners Soccer Club, in the Macarthur Association and like so many youngsters I had dreams of career in football,” said Emerton.

“I-m so fortunate that I-ve had so many opportunities to play with great clubs in Australia and in Europe and represent my country as well, but it all started with my mates at a local club with mums and dads giving up their time to run the show.

“My experience shows what can happen, but my message is simply to get boys and girls playing the game and enjoying themselves at a young age and then staying involved as they grow up. Football is a game that stays with you for life.

“FFA-s initiative to implement a national grassroots month is a fantastic opportunity to help develop the many volunteers who tirelessly contribute to our wonderful game, either as club coaches, managers, club administrators, or more simply - as parents supporting their children-s dream of playing football at the top level.”

“For me it all started with my local football club and the fun I had playing the game at young age has stuck with me all through my career,” said Heather Garriock, FFA-s female Community Football Ambassador.

“Football is all about getting involved and having fun with family, friends no matter what your skill level, age or ability.”

For more information or how to get involved, please contact your Member Federation about Grassroots Football Month.