Grassroots hero Carol Firth tells her coaching story with Scarborough Ladies on IWD

Carol Firth is involved in a number of roles at Scarborough Ladies FC, after starting her coaching pathway with the North Riding CFA. On International Women’s Day, she tells us how she got involved and has helped grow the game for girls in her home town….

Thursday 08 Mar 2018
Carol Firth explains how she got into coaching with her local club, Scarborough Ladies FC

It’s strange how things work out.

I was never really that interested in football, I was always a classic armchair fan really - I support Liverpool and my husband is a Leeds fan so I’d been to Elland Road more times than Anfield.

Women’s football wasn’t really a thing in Scarborough either, but when my husband’s daughter Leanne started playing for Scarborough Ladies FC, I just went along to watch and support.

And that’s how it all started, I first got involved with a bit of fundraising for the club then joined the committee as a parent representative.

By this time, my husband had started coaching a team and I’d go along to support and help him out when I noticed there was a coaching gap with the younger age groups, between 4-8 year-olds.

So that’s when I started out coaching, just to give them a hand really and I booked myself on an FA Level One course through the County FA back in 2012.

It was supposed to be an all-female course, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough females on it, so it ended up being a mixed course and that was great for me.

There were lots of people from different age groups and lots of different reasons why people were doing it so that was fascinating, and it was a really good course.

More and more girls are getting into the game in 2018

I love coaching. It really makes you watch a game of football differently and I get enjoyment from seeing girls playing football and getting excited about it, in an environment where they can enjoy playing without feeling any pressure or criticism.

There’s so many more girls interested in playing football now too. It’s grown so much and the attitude of people involved in the game has changed as well.

It’s not seen as just a boy’s sport anymore, it is accessible to women and young girls especially and we’ve seen that.

When I got involved first with the club, there was an open-age team, a reserve team and two junior teams. Now, we’ve got players aged from 4-18 with over 120 girls registered to play.

We’re the largest all-female club in the area, established in 2005 and we have the cubbies based from age four up to U18s at the moment.

It’s a big part of my life, I’m also involved on the child-welfare side and am vice-chair of the club, so it keeps me busy and is something I’d recommend to anyone.

Has Carol's story inspired YOU to start out your own coaching journey? Find out how you can become a qualified coach and see the courses that are available for you.

Find out more on our coach mentor programme, in which grassroots coaches such as Carol receive support and guidance from their local County FA.

By Carol Firth Coach, Child Welfare Officer, Vice Chair, Scarborough Ladies FC