Two Burton and South Derbyshire College students recently went to Wembley Stadium to take part in the English Colleges Football Association’s (ECFA) National Activator Conference.
Sport, Coaching and Development students, Jacobe Dunbar (20) and Sophie Bayliss (16), were amongst 120 ECFA Football Activators from across the country in attendance, along with 60 college staff members and representatives from The FA, County FA and AoC Sport.
During the event, attendees heard key note speeches from a range of guest speakers, including The FA’s Head of Participation, Pete Ackerley; AoC Sport Managing Director, Marcus Kingwell, and this year’s chairperson of the ECFA National Student Management Team, Tom Rimmer.
Matt Dandy, AoC Sport National Football Development Officer said: “The ECFA National Activator Conference is a real celebration of the phenomenal work these young students have done within colleges.
“The 80 colleges signed up to the programme recruited 158 student volunteers to develop and build football activity within colleges. These ECFA Football Activators have engaged more than 3500 new students in football – 23% female. But it is not only new participants who have been helped through this programme, with this group of individuals supporting more than 6000 football participants in total.”
Students also took part in networking sessions, a ‘Brand Me’ seminar, and enjoyed a session from StreetGames, giving them ideas on how to engage with ‘non-sporty’ students.
Craig Hopkins, College Sports Maker at Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “By becoming Football Activators, our students have been given the opportunity to receive regional and national training, along with football development experience. The role not only gives students the chance to promote football but it also helps them to develop key employability skills for their future careers.”