A coach at Hitchin Belles on the field

Grassroots girls football club launch female coaching scheme

Grassroots football team Hitchin Belles FC has launched a female coaching programme with the aim to increase female representation around their club.

The club recognised just 12 of their 80 coaches are women, and Chairman Simon White and Development Officer Gemma Smith mutually agreed their 400 players need more female role-models.

Smith said: “I’m looking at these numbers thinking we’ve got the biggest female club in Hertfordshire and potentially the country but we’ve only got 12 female coaches.

“It’s so important for these girls to grow up with female coaches because if they get to a point where they don’t want to play or injuries prevent that then they know there are other routes to take.

“The playing side of the game is thriving so now we must look at ways to diversify the club from top to bottom.”

HITCHIN BELLE: Amy Jack, 25, is an under-15s coach

Since England’s win in Euro 2022, interest has boomed but not just for young girls.

Hitchin Belles have seen women in their 40s and 50s, often referred to as the “missed generation”, come down and kick a ball for the first time.

The programme is open to all ages and levels of experience and each volunteer will receive a personalised support programme depending on their goals as a coach.

Herts FA coach development officer Danielle Evans highlighted the importance of programmes for female coaches to develop and reach new levels together.

She said: “The role of a female coach can often be lonely. You may be the only one in your club so it’s important for us to get together, support and inspire one another and help each other grow in confidence.”

Many students from Hitchin Girls’ School play for Hitchin Belles.

Jess O’Leary, PE teacher, said: “If they don’t necessarily want to play it’s important they know coaching is an option for them too.”

To enquire about the course contact [email protected]

Related Articles