With our Football Development Officer, Daniel Landstrom, we have taken a look at some factors you should consider when designing your sessions, and how YOU can deliver inclusive football that is welcoming for all.
As with any session, try to ensure their first experience is a good one so that the player wants to come back again. From the first point of contact try to make players feel safe and welcome at the club.
- Use inclusive language, photos and positive messaging on all club media.
- Be open minded, positive and friendly when players arrive.
- Take an interest in the individual and introduce them to the other players.
- Ensure your session is suitable for their needs and encourage and support when necessary.
TOP TIP - Use a ‘buddy’ system to help players integrate into the group and provide peer to peer support.
Some people will be anxious about joining a session due to a number of reasons which could include a lack of confidence, a fear of standing out or feeling they are not good enough to play. Check in on people during and after the session to find out how they are getting on.
TOP TIP - Make sure players know where to go if they require additional support.
Some players will feel they are not good enough to take part so ensure all players are included regardless of their ability. Giving players a role or responsibility within the group can increase the feeling of belonging and increase self-esteem.
TOP TIP - Coaches can use the S.T.E.P principle (see downloadable document below) to modify their practices and manage the differentiation within a group.
DOWNLOAD THE FA'S STEP GUIDANCE
Always listen to people and take on board their comments and feedback to ensure the session/club is inclusive and accessible for all. Listening to people’s needs and making reasonable adjustments will help create a more inclusive environment and positive experience for all.
Encourage everyone to share their experience and promote it to others to help the session grow. Champion inclusivity within your session and at the club and always give the same level of respect to everyone.
TOP TIP - Celebrate success and be proud to deliver football for all.