In our Football Development team, we have recently made a big step towards equality in Sussex football by achieving the Foundation Level of Equality Award. As well as this, we have seen the introduction of an FA Level 1 in Coaching Football Inclusive Course for those with a disability or additional needs.
Over 8,500 individuals have attended the Introduction to First Aid in Football workshops with over 6,000, qualifying as Level 1 Coaches and currently in Sussex we have 2,500 qualified coaches actively operating in football.
Following the Equality Award, we hosted our inaugural Equality Engagement Evening at Crawley Town where we invited key people in the industry to guest speak such as Hope Powell, Ryan Atkin and Martin Sinclair. The evening also gave us the opportunity to showcase the introduction of Sunflower Lanyard Project which is aimed at helping identify those with a hidden disability, so they can receive additional support.
Over 20 Wildcats centres have been introduced across Sussex to help inspire girls aged between 5-11 to be involved in the sport. We also launched our Women’s Recreational Festivals in 2017 for the ‘missed generation’ who are now enjoying the opportunity to play.
Across the county we worked together with the Football Foundation to help support the development facilities, enabling more players to access high-quality pitches and changing rooms. We’ve also educated more coaches through our expansive coach education programme to help develop the players of the future.
Training and development of our match officials is now more professional than ever, with promotions across all levels including some of our officials going on to reach the top of the game, officiating on the Premier League. We have also seen an increase in the percentage of matches taking place across the county that are officiated by a qualified match official.
Going forward in the refereeing world we are very keen to increase the number of female match officials, and actively support the implementation of The FA’s Respect campaign.
Our Headquarters at Culver Road saw a major transformation in 2015 with a 3G Artificial Turf Pitch installed at a cost of £406,000. This change of surface has enabled us to open our facility to over 6,000 players since then and that figure is rising every year.
Talking finances things have changed dramatically over the last decade, with the introduction of online banking as opposed to cheques, and our financial year now reflects the football season of July to June rather than the calendar year.
As we enter another decade we are determined to make football as safe, fun and accessible for all as we possibly can, none of our past achievements could be have been realised without our committed and determined staff and the legions of volunteers across the county who without we couldn’t do what we do to make Sussex football great!
For more information about our past work and visions for the future please contact:
T: 01903 753547