This #WildcatsWednesday, we chat with Azi Mohammad at Salaam Peace, another London FA Wildcat Centre providing opportunities for girls.
1. What led to you setting up a Wildcats centre?
During the 2020 summer holidays, we delivered a weekly girls football session which was very successful. Due to its success and encouragement from Amanda at London FA to apply, we thought setting up a Wildcats Centre was the logical step in the development of our portfolio of engagement programmes.
2. Have you faced any hurdles/challenges in the process of running a Wildcats centre?
The COVID-19 pandemic and changing restrictions around organised physical activity has been the main challenge, disrupting session delivery. Although our Wildcats sessions are currently suspended, we are currently delivering virtual 121 and group sports session, which means that our beneficiaries still have regular opportunities to engage in physical activity from the comfort of their own home.
3. What are some of the benefits/best part of running a Wildcats centre?
Seeing so many young girls enjoying football and developing their skillset has been a pleasure. However, the most pleasing aspect has been the relationships and friendships formed between the girls and our female coaches. Due to the relationships that have been formed, the girls feel more confident in expressing themselves which leads to a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
4. What would be your advice to a club looking to start a Wildcats?
We would definitely recommend starting a Wildcats centre, especially as The FA have been so helpful and responsive to any queries that we've had. From a delivery perspective, focus on fun- technical development will follow, and where possible look to use female coaches/volunteers as in our case, this really helped break down any barriers to initial engagement and has helped facilitate the development of positive relationships.
You can find out more about Salaam Peace by visiting their website
Instagram and Twitter: @salaampeacesp
If you have any questions for Salaam Peace, please contact Azi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on setting up a Wildcats Centre of your own, you can email Aquila Burgess at email@example.com