West Ham United, in partnership with Sport England, are making a proactive, ground breaking contribution to encourage Asian people to participate in football. The project operates across the London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Redbridge. The scheme assists Asian people to gain access to football and benefit from specific levels of participation as outlined below. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is a past guest at the Project's coaching facilities in Mile End.
Schools PE Programme
At grassroots level a structured programme of coaching is provided which is consistent with National Curriculum Key Stage 2/3 requirements within existing PE lessons. The sessions are structured in such a way that beginners can learn football skills and techniques in a supportive environment.
FA Teaching Certificate Courses
F.A Teaching Certificate Courses are provided for local teachers. The courses are designed and delivered to increase technical awareness and to generate confidence and enthusiasm to promote football within local schools. Gaining the FA Qualification actively encourages teachers to be involved in the overall process of progressing young Asian players.
Coaches Development Scheme
This specific aspect of the scheme enables young Asian players to learn the appropriate skills to progress and attend the FA Coaching Certificate course. The focus of the scheme would be on developing the skills and confidence as trainee coaches, but it is envisaged that the young people being coached would also benefit from well organised and structured coaching.
As and when the trainees successfully complete the course and achieve the status of qualified coach they could take on the responsibility to provide sessions and function independently.
Technique Development Performance Coaching
Technique Development Performance Coaching sessions operate in conjunction with the PE programme to enable the players who demonstrate potential to develop further. Players attending such courses are referred to play for local amateur teams thus enabling players to benefit from structured coaching and competitive matchplay concurrently. Ultimately promising Asian players are integrated into the Clubs mainstream structures via the existing performance squads. The young player will then have the opportunity to strive towards excellence and gain access to the Academy itself.
Coaching is provided in partnership with Local Authority Summer Play Schemes at local parks, in order to provide young people with access to football coaching in their immediate neighbourhood.
Girls & Women's Football
Girls-only sessions are provided in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Redbridge in order to introduce young females to participate in football as both players and coaches.
F.A Mini-Soccer Centres are in operation in Tower Hamlets and Newham. This provides the opportunity to offer structured games, which incorporate game related coaching.
Mile End Stadium
Asians in Football is now based at Mile End Stadium in order to consolidate and develop a strategic partnership with Tower Hamlets Leisure Services.
This will enable a wider range of young people to gain access to appropriate football resources.
Football Foundation Club Development Project
A further partnership has been established with Football Foundation. This five years project will enable A.I.F.P. to develop local clubs and therefore to enhance the quality of competitive football in the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets.
Young people will be given the chance to receive a higher degree of education not just in strict football terms but also on wider skills related to football (i.e. code of conduct, learning strategies, social behaviour, etc.). This partnership will provide an ideal exit route for all the boys and girls that are currently involved in playing football but do not have the opportunity to participate in competitive matches. It will also enable the most talented and committed individuals to be referred to the West Ham Academy.
Mick King, Project Manager.