At a time when the Worcestershire FA have commenced Safeguarding validation visits to training and matches, across all of their Charter Standard affiliated clubs, and whilst reading the club’s history, to include on our website, it struck me an important time to focus on what role we all have in looking after the young football players at our club.  Launched in 2001, The FA Charter Standard Programme is The FA’s accreditation scheme for grassroots clubs.  It’s Goal is to raise standards in grassroots football, support the development of clubs, whilst recognising and rewarding clubs for their commitment and achievements.  With this in mind, The FA Charter Standard accreditation is awarded to clubs rigorously adjudged to be well-run, sustainable and, most importantly, those that prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme.

A Charter Standard Community Football Club since 2009, maintenance of this prestigious accreditation is at the core of what we do as Badgers.  Scrutiny of all we achieve is unavoidable but sharing of knowledge and preparation can avoid failure.  Failure whilst supporting the children who are part of our club is unthinkable, hence why we ask that at all sessions:

  • Minimum of one FA Level 1 qualified Coach to be present at training and fixtures;
  • Anyone supporting coaching, pitch side, must have a current club CRB / DBS
  • No one is to enter the playing area (3G for Dysons and coaches side of the pitch for matches / cross the Respect barrier) who is not in possession of a valid CRB
  • For all squads up to u11’s, no player is to leave training nor matches unaccompanied
  • All team coaches and pitch side coaching volunteers will be identifiable by wearing LBBFC branded clothing and must have access to an appropriately  maintained First Aid Kit at training and matches
  • Coaches or assistants must refrain from playing/participating in their coaching sessions based on FA guidance.  There are 2 main reasons for this (1) accidental risk of injury to their players and (2) they are coaches and by playing in their sessions they are taking touches away from the players that the players should be having.

Having recently completed the FA Safeguarding module myself this topic of adults playing in sessions was a recurring theme.  Anyone from the County FA attending a Badger training session, and observing adult coaches playing in junior coaching sessions, would raise immediate alarm bells.  Obviously anyone that has coached a junior football side will have, at some time, played between the sticks, and seen themselves as the next Joe Hart, but this is still seen as poor practice. Coaches should be creative and think of alternatives;

  • one touch finish
  • restricted areas to score in
  • targets in goals, balls on cones etc

Coaches delivering a demo to support learning can be good practice but coaches ‘playing’ in sessions is not recommended and therefore we should all follow the advice.