As the FA Girls’ Football Week comes to a close, our new Female Football Development Officer, Matt Bee, explains our exciting plans for the future of the women’s game here at Burnley FC in the Community:
My name is Matt Bee, and I am extremely proud to say that I am the new Female Football Development Officer for BFCitC. This role renews my link with the club, as for a period of over 2 years, I have represented the charity in Perth, Australia. I am delighted to join such an innovative, forward thinking team of staff, who share the same core values as I.
Monday, 10th October marks the start of the FA’s 2016 Girls’ Football Week; a weeklong series of nation-spanning events that aim to inspire and capture the imagination and interest of females, in relation to football, sport and its wider, far-reaching benefits.
With this in mind, I feel that now is a fantastic time to outline Burnley FC in the Community’s (BFCitC) passion and commitment to developing female-specific footballing opportunities / provisions across Burnley and its surrounding areas.
Historically, females across Burnley have encountered many barriers to participation within sport, such as negative stereotypes and detrimental stigma attached to participation. This has resulted in females of all ages experiencing much difficulty in accessing the opportunities that they need and more importantly, ones that they deserve.
At BFCitC, we place an enormous amount of value on facilitating equality and inclusion for all, and we wish to revolutionise the sporting landscape for females across the town and beyond. This notion is underpinned within our strategic mission to inspire, support and deliver change.
Female Football has been close to my own heart for many years. Upon commencing my UEFA B Licence course, I realised that the female game was soaring to unprecedented heights. At that moment, I knew that a career within the area is something that I would thoroughly enjoy and would be delighted to help develop.
I have learnt from some fantastic female-sporting practitioners. I have plied my trade at the FA’s Girls Centre of Excellence in York, alongside my implementation of sporting and social interventions within many schools across Lincolnshire.
An imperative element of my FFDO role will be co-ordinating / leading on the Premier League Girls initiative. This is a programme that focuses on providing outstanding football opportunities for females of all ages and abilities, whilst promoting the profile of the female game nationally. This programme will act as a great introduction to the sport for many youngsters and adults, and will be completely accessible and barrier free.
With BFCitC recently joining forces with Burnley FC Girls and Ladies, I will take the club forward, as First Team Manager. Underpinning this will be my overseeing of a development plan that will allow the club to provide meaningful, impactful footballing provisions for girls and ladies, starting from the age of 5.
Over the next few months, everyone connected with female football in the local area should see a major push from BFCitC to develop the opportunities that players have to experience the game. In my short time here I have seen how important this football club is to the town and its people. I will look to harness this passion and the strength of the club badge to make a positive, lasting impression so that all females can access the beautiful game.
I welcome all enquiries and endeavour to creating partnership from all areas of our local community.
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