Football Australia pilots FIFA Coach Education Development Pathway Program

17 of Australia’s emerging coaches have converged on Sydney this week to participate in a joint FIFA-Football Australia Coach Educators’ Development Pathway Program.

Football Australia was one of five Member Associations selected by FIFA to run this pilot program, focusing on the development of home-grown coach educators through 150 hours of theory and practical learning linked to the fundamental coach educator’s competence, which will ultimately lead to graduates supporting Football Australia and Member Federations to develop more qualified coaches.

Commencing in November 2021, selected participants from the Australian football community embarked on this 12-month program featuring 40 online modules, with this five-day (2–6 May) in-person element providing the opportunity to deliver sessions in the classroom and on-pitch, enabling attending FIFA and Football Australia technical experts to guide and provide feedback.

Leading this week’s in-person modules are FIFA experts Branimir Ujevic (FIFA Head of Coaching & Player Development), Dany Ryser (FIFA Technical Expert and current U17 Men’s Switzerland Head Coach) and Mohamed Basir (FIFA Senior Manager, Coaching Development Department).

Joining them are Trevor Morgan (National Technical Director & U17 Men’s Head Coach), Rae Dower (Women’s Technical Advisor & U17 Women’s Head Coach) and Ron Smith (Technical Consultant) from Football Australia.

Australia joins Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and the United States in being selected to roll-out this pilot program, which Trevor Morgan acknowledges is a nod to the ongoing work of Football Australia and the Member Federations in the development of coaches at all levels.

“Football Australia is looking to evolve coach and player development and participating in this coach educators’ pathway program, as developed by and delivered in collaboration with FIFA, will enable Australian coaches to get a head start on this new program which will be implemented the world over in the coming years,” Morgan said.

“In this program, FIFA brings a certain methodology, a pathway to follow step by step, and the necessary tools for the current course participants – and ultimately coach education instructors – to perform as effectively as possible.

“If Australian football can develop and grow a pool of highly skilled coach educators in all parts of the country, the multiplier effect this will have on not only on coach development but in delivering elite player training, will have a huge impact on both the volume and quality of footballers we produce as a nation.”

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$500,000 dedicated to the improvement of safety across NSW

A list of successful applicants across Football New South Wales are now entitled to a grant courtesy of $500,000 to Local Sport Defibrillator Grant (LSDG).

The sole purpose of LSDG is to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to sports clubs across the state in order to combat the growing correlation between sport participation and cardiac arrests incurred by participants.

These devices have the potential to save participants lives within these crucial emergency situations.

Situations in where time is of the essence, the use of a defibrillator can be the difference in saving someone’s life.

Although the situation of a cardiac arrest occurring to be highly unlikely, due to the increased frequency of the medical episode taking place primarily within sport.

The safety of a broader community requires an approach in which it can allow for an equalizer within these tremulous situations.

Impact on Football Across NSW

14 clubs across the state of NSW where listed upon the successful applications, entitling those clubs to receive 3 defibrillators each.

Southern District Soccer Football Association have had quite the substantial contribution targeted towards their region.

4 out of the possible 14 AEDs were provided to a region where football has experienced expansion in growth and participation.

Heartbeat of Football

Heartbeat of Football (HOF) have worked in conjunction with Football NSW, acting as their primary community heart partner since 2022.

Boasting the motto “No one should die playing the sport they love,” HOF are dedicated within the company’s objective of having zero related hearth deaths on a sporting ground.

The efforts of HOF are in unison with the LSDG.

Football NSW Manager Government Relations, Funding, and Infrastructure, Daniel Ristic, said via press release.

“The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant has been a fantastic grant initiate allowing football clubs across NSW to equip themselves with life saving devices that are making a difference at the community level.”

The LSDG grant will continue to provide the required needs necessary in which can ultimately be lifesaving to a new branch of football entities across NSW.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

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