The EFF, The Supporters Club and OnSide

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The EFF, The Supporters Club and The OnSide Youth Zones have joined forces to help develop coaches of the future.

Youngsters in Wolverhampton, Manchester, Bolton and Blackburn are set to gain a sports leadership qualification that could help them become professional coaches as part of a new scheme funded by the England Footballers Foundation (EFF) and BT Sport’s charitable initiative, The Supporters Club.

England players and The Supporters Club have donated £250,000 to OnSide Youth Zones, a charity that runs modern youth clubs across the country in under-privileged areas. OnSide will use the money to deliver a sports employability project for around 400 young people aged between 13 and 21 in the four Youth Zones.

Members of the four Youth Zones will have the opportunity to take part in an eight-week course and gain either a Level 1 Coaching Award or a Sports Leadership Qualification awarded by Sports Leaders UK. They will be able to make use of state-of-the art facilities.

The initiative is called E3 ‘Enable, Educate, Empower’ and aims to give youngsters the opportunity to progress into employment, education or training in order to pursue careers in sport.   Participants will develop the confidence, skills and experience to then deliver their own coaching sessions in a sport of their choice to other young people in the Youth Zone areas.

The OnSide partnership with EFF and BT Sport’s The Supporters Club will also enable young people to take part in workplace taster days, a range of sporting activities and have the opportunity to meet and be inspired by members of the England football team in 2017.

The OnSide project is part of a wider programme of activity that the England players will participate in as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EFF in 2017. By donating their personal time and England match fees, the squad have raised almost £5million and appeared at 250 charity events. The players chose to partner with OnSide Youth Zones and BT Sport’s The Supporters Club.

England Defender Gary Cahill commented: “It’s important in our tenth year that the EFF continues to give something back to young people. The OnSide Youth Zones are a great way of doing this and the whole squad is behind the initiative.”


Jennifer Cox, of the England Footballers Foundation, said: “The England Footballers Foundation and The Supporters Club are a great fit as we share a similar vision. We want to promote positive change and raise awareness of important social issues. Working together with OnSide at their modern network of Youth Zones will make a meaningful difference to the lives of young people across the country in an enjoyable way.”

Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, BT said: “The Supporters Club aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport. OnSide Youth Zones is a fantastic example of this and we’re really pleased to be supporting their work.”

OnSide Youth Zones Network Director, Helen Taylor, said: “The sporting industry is an extremely popular area that many young people would like to work in but it’s also one of the most difficult to break in to. This course will give our members the opportunity to become professional coaches of the future and we’re extremely grateful to EFF and The Supporters Club for their support to allow us to champion another employability scheme within our area.”

E3 complements OnSide Youth Zones’ own employability scheme; ‘Get a Job’ which is also delivered across the OnSide Youth Zone network. It ensures that 16-19 year olds develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, from coaching around CV-writing and job interviews to taking on work placements with local businesses.