The Herefordshire FA is delighted to announce the appointment of Josh Dempster as our Equal Game Ambassador, a newly created role funded by the FA which will support clubs to create female playing pathways, encouraging more female players to play the beautiful game.
One of The FA’s ‘game-changer’ objectives from the 2020-24 Grassroots Football Strategy is to ensure that girls have equal access to football, in both schools and clubs. The 2022/23 season will see the recruitment of a team of Equal Game Ambassadors to provide England Football Accredited football clubs with off-field support in creating, maintaining, and developing their female offer to ensure there are inclusive, safe and accessible opportunities available for all girls.
This role is aligned to the introduction of the new ‘Equal Game’ training programme which is designed to upskill club volunteers to be motivated, knowledgeable, confident and capable to develop more club-based opportunities for women and girls to play, coach, volunteer and / or spectate.
The key objective of the ambassador role is to support grassroots football clubs to apply their learnings from the Equal Game Training and build their own Equal Game Action Plan, creating more accessible opportunities for women and girls.
The key principles of support are as follows:
• BESPOKE – Support to match the needs and wants of each individual club
• CONNECTED – The recognition that the most sustainable activity is one that is connected throughout the club
• PERSONAL – Built on relationships and trust
• CREATIVE – Curious in finding new and appropriate ways of empowering, engaging, and inspiring clubs to develop their female opportunities and pathways
We caught up with Josh ahead of starting the new role, to learn a little but more about him and why the role appealed to him.
Name: Josh Dempster
Favourite Team: Chelsea
What do you love about football? Football brings communities together, regardless of ability. Football teaches cooperation and teamwork, helps develop positive social skills and teaches respect for others. It helps build self-confidence, a positive self-image and self-worth.
What do you find challenging within football? I have a burning desire to create an equal game for all players, regardless of ability. The biggest challenge within our game is ensuring provisions are in place for everyone. The new schemes being put in place by the FA and introduction of Equal Game Ambassadors is a very positive step in overcoming this challenge.
Why is this Equal Game Ambassador Role so important? I am incredibly proud to be the Equal Game Ambassador for the Herefordshire FA. It is vital that our game is as equal and inclusive for all people and there are accessible provisions in place to develop the Female game. Following the successes of our Lionesses last year, we have a prime opportunity to inspire females from all age groups to get involved and enjoy the beautiful game. Having an ambassador in place to support this helps to push new incentives forward and help focus our attention on letting girls play.
What do you hope to achieve with clubs through this role? I aim to create a support network with clubs, allowing them to have a point of contact for anything regarding the Female game. I will work actively with clubs to ensure, as a county, we are making football accessible for everybody.