RFF Young Coaches Hit the Ground Running In Salford

We went down to Albert Park in Broughton on a sunny Friday evening in early August to catch up with two young people that have been involved with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Jordan and Lauren. The pitch was full of life as Albert Park opens its gates for free every Friday evening. A good friend of RFF, Coach Gary, also donates his time every Friday to run drop in junior training sessions, with the much-valued assistant of Jordan and Lauren. Its really amazing to see the place buzzing as so many different members of the community are able to come and access this service.

This is Jordan on the left! He is 19 and comes from Ordsall, Salford! Jordan loves football and wants to become a coach. The Rio Ferdinand Foundation is helping him achieve this goal through our personal and social development pathways.

We met Jordan when he was in college back in 2015 after he attended our 1st4Sports Level 1 Award in Developing Community Activities for Youth at Risk. Since then he has completed our ‘SLUK Level 2 Community Sports Leadership Award’ and our OCN Level 1 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Jordan has volunteered for several sports projects RFF has delivered in the past 2 years, including an all-girls multi sports day and football tournament funded by Tony Lloyd Police and Crime Commissioner. He has more recently received his first Football coaching qualification, completing his FA Level 1, which also included a work placement and an accredited course in First Aid and Safeguarding.

Further to this Jordan has gained coaching experience through volunteering at a regular drop-in football project down at Albert Park every Friday night. Here he helps RFF coach Gary Thomas by refereeing the matches. Jordan has finished college now, and is working part time alongside doing his volunteering. We are incredibly proud of Jordan’s level of dedication and enthusiasm, we have been very privileged to help him start his career into coaching.

On the right we have Lauren, who is also 19. We only met Lauren back in May this year. She had been at college studying childcare, but had dropped out, as the course was not for her. She found out about our FA Level 1 Football Coaching Qualification through a friend and got in touch, wanting to get involved! She successfully completed the qualification and work placement and started volunteering through RFF on a Friday night pretty much straight away!! Not only this, but Lauren has also signed up to a women’s football team in Salford. So, she’ll be playing in a team for the first time come September. Well done Lauren!

When we asked the guys if they had any advice for other young people interested in coaching they said “…Get a team together as quickly as possible, volunteer as much as possible and most importantly, enjoy it!”

We caught up with Gary, the coach to see what he thought. “Both Jordan and Lauren have been really great! The have listened well to all instructions and engaged brilliantly with the kids. They both take part with all the activities with a positive attitude. They are great role models for the area, and if they are anything to go by I wouldn’t hesitate in recruiting my volunteers! I am also glad I can help them out where I can, such as pointing Lauren in the right direction to a football team.

Programme Manager for RFF Victoria quotes, “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see both Jordan and Lauren grow in confidence and motivation throughout their time with RFF. They have worked hard to volunteer for different local causes, the relationships that they’ve built and will continue to build in the community have been beneficial for their first step into working life. We will continue to help their development and progression into coaching, a huge thank you to all our partners involved and our funders at the Big Lottery!”