Female college football coach is selected for Fairer Game Campaign
4 October 2017
Jackie Alecho, sport development activator at Barking & Dagenham College is one of just 50 women nationally selected to receive free training for their UEFA B Licence only 29 women compared to 1,484 men in England currently hold the license.
The campaign, which was launched in June, aims to promote better training and opportunities for female coaches in football.
Since the announcement of the campaign, Betfair has been working alongside Women in Football, to address the gender disparity that exists in professional-level football.
Betfair will pay the £50,000 required to place the 50 coaches on their relevant FA course, and provide coaching opportunities through their grassroots sports programme Cash 4 Clubs. Women in Football will also provide additional support to the 50 coaches by welcoming them into their wider female football network.
By adding to the number of women with a UEFA B license, Betfair’s ultimate goal is to increase the number of women at the top of the coaching pyramid in England.
The chosen beneficiaries of the Fairer Game campaign were selected from hundreds of applicants who registered their interest from up and down the UK. Sport development activator Jackie Alecho, from Barking & Dagenham College was amongst those selected and will benefit from the funding to cover her FA course.
Jackie explains: “My footballing journey began with West Ham United in the Community. I was accepted on a scheme for trainee coaches to become up skilled in football coaching and deliver to the community.
“For me, coaching football and being able to affect young people’s lives daily has given me a purpose in life.
“I am currently working with Barking & Dagenham College Football Academy who is in partnership with Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club and West Ham United Community Sports Trust.
“Upon securing a UEFA B LICENCE, I believe I will be better equipped to lead the Academy players in their development. I will also have the confidence and knowledge to not just be an assistant coach, but be equal to the current male coaches who lead the Football Academy.
“I hope women's football can develop for the better, for women to be recognised as equal, and have the same opportunities and recognition as men do. I hope for the day that it will not be a challenge for those that come behind me in coaching to receive them same respect and receive the same pay.”
Ex-Arsenal and England footballer Rachel Yankey, who holds a UEFA B and is training for her UEFA A license, has partnered with Betfair to front the campaign and will provide advice and support to the 50 selected coaches throughout their training journey.
Rachel Yankey commented, “I’m excited to help the selected 50 females follow their passion just like I did. I think this is a really unique and empowering opportunity for them. That first day of training, or the first time at a new club is much easier if you see a friendly face and these women will now have 49 faces they know working towards the same goal. I personally feel like having more women in positions throughout football will benefit the game as a whole as diversity provides balance and brings together different perspectives.”
Naomi Totten commented on behalf of Betfair, “Betfair is widely recognised for its transformational products, marketing and campaigns and Fairer Game is no different. The campaign is about challenging the status quo, and striving to push more women to the higher ranks of professional level football. There will be challenges that remain as we work to get each coach a place on a course and guide them on their journey. However, we wanted to give 50 female coaches the chance to break down barriers and show that they have the support of others within the game, including the Women In Football network and Rachel Yankey who is not only an inspirational player, but also a passionate coach too.”
Anna Kessel commented on behalf of Women in Football, “We’re extremely proud to be part of a campaign that champions women in football, especially with the support that the 50 female coaches will be given by Betfair and Rachel Yankey. It can be a daunting experience as a female coach and through our network we want to be able to lean in and help these female coaches in any way we can!
To follow the women on their Betfair Fairer Game journey visit fairergame.com