For the last week of Black History Month, we are catching up with London FA coach educators about what makes them proud to be part of the coaching community and what advice they would give to aspiring coaches.
When did you first start coaching? What were your goals at that time?
2009 to provide transition from playing to coaching for under-represented groups and to develop anti-racist models to teaching and learning with coaching. To increase the vocational opportunities for individuals with a mental health related concern after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
What is your current coaching role?
Coach educator Level 2 and coach mentor within the Black and Asian coaches Association.
From the start of your journey to your current role, can you state the length of time it took to attain your highest qualification and how have the qualifications helped you?
I obtained my first badge in 1980, coaching at grassroots, football academies and in Africa and America, and obtained by UEFA A in 1995. It enabled me to coach at Professional League clubs, complete my MSC, MA, MBA, PhD and PGCE in sport and teaching. This enabled me to apply the science, psychology and pedagogy of teaching to being a Equality, Child Protection and Emergency First Tutor within the FA.
Who are your coaching role models?
Les Reid for his engagement and inclusion, Garth Southgate for his diversity and understanding of whiteness and Hope Powell for her technical and tactical brilliance. Steve Smithies for his revolutionary reverse mentoring programme and for getting me into the English coaches Hall of Fame.
As an FA affiliated tutor, what advice would you give to grassroots coaches?
Understand your internal motivation to support the uniqueness and lived reality of the community, plan your journey on both a coaching, person centred and academic level, reflect, analyse, and plan your life. Use the tools of mentoring, peer group support and apply learning to your love and commitment to the sport. Look after your spiritual and mental health and as an ethnically diverse coach, a women, a person of LGBT identity, use these are special skills of empathy and growth.
What are your coaching aspirations for the future?
As an elder, a person who has struggled for race and other inter-connected equalities is to mentor for change, teach for progress and learn to empower coaches to create the most positive and stimulating coach environment no matter whether I am employed by the FA or by the LFA.
If you are interested in getting your coaching qualifications, you can check out the coaching pathway here. If you have any questions, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.