Here at RFF Manchester, we want give you an insight into what we get up to and the faces that make up the foundation. Today our spotlight is on RFF Manchester’s young football coach, Jordan, who is 19 and from Salford. Jordan has recently made the jump from being a participant of our programmes to a paid sessional staff member. Here is shares his storey in his own words,

‘I started my RFF journey back in 2015 as a participant on a VRQ qualification: Level 1 Award in Using Sport to Tackle Youth Crime. I applied for this course whist I was attending Salford City College, as I believed it would be beneficial for me to gain a qualification whilst doing voluntary work. It was a 4-day course which consisted of 3 full days of theory and classroom based learning, which finished with 1 day of running a football tournament with an employability event for young people from across Greater Manchester. Responsibilities included: refereeing games, directing people to the correct areas, making sure everyone understood the layout of the tournament and where the fire exits where. 

After being involved with my first project with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation it wasn’t long before they presented me with another opportunity: VRQ Level 1 Award in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion & a 1st4Sport Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership. After a long week of theory work and classroom based activities I successfully came out with 2 accredited qualifications that will/and have made a difference on my curriculum vitae. I also took part in staffing an all-girls sports event in partnership with Salford Community Leisure, Salford Red Devils and Manchester United Foundation. 

Now being a familiar face with the RFF I received an email with details of an upcoming opportunity which was a Level 1 Football Coaching, Emergency First Aid & Safeguarding qualification. I jumped at the opportunity as finishing college and going to university to study football coaching is exactly what I wanted to do. The course was a week long and once again proved to be a success as I am now a qualified Level 1 Football Coach, with an Emergency First Aid & Safeguarding Certificate. All of which are mandatory to be a football coach, along with a DBS, which I already have. This Level 1 Football Coaching qualification costs around £150 to complete, the Emergency First Aid costing around £41 and the safeguarding course costing around £16. All of which wouldn’t have been a realistic achievement of mine if it wasn’t for RFF offering this course for free and supporting me to reach my goals.

After being involved with the RFF since 2015, I received an email in October 2017 offering me a paid coaching position for 8 weeks. This consisted of attending UTC Media City School and coaching a group of 12 girls for an hour every Tuesday from 1:45 – 2:45pm. The girls were at grassroots level and have never played football before, providing me and another coach with the opportunity to teach them the basics of football. Looking back on this, it was great to see the development of not only the girls football skills but the development of myself as a coach. The Rio Ferdinand Foundation made this achievement possible and assisted with getting my foot in the door within my chosen field. This invaluable experience has boosted my CV and confidence and will assist me in finding a coaching job in the future.

Reviewing my time with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, I have realised they have been vital to my progression in the sporting industry and have equipped me with the essential qualifications I need to be a football coach. Accepting all of the opportunities presented to me by the RFF, I have been able to develop as a coach and improve my interpersonal skills which have proved beneficial in the professional field. I would like to add that my journey is definitely not over yet as RFF have offered me a second paid coaching opportunity which I will definitely be taking.’

We would like to congratulate Jordan on all his hard work, watching his progression through the years has been absolutely fantastic! RFF Manchester would like to thank our funders the Big Lottery for enabling us to create opportunities such as these!