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Alan Richards

New F.A. 'Strategy'

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    Myself and a small delegation from our club had a meeting arranged at Manchester County F.A. on November 20th to discuss the F.A. rules for W.F.

    Today I've received an email  from the organisation with details of a nationwide consultation around walking football to be held in various venues around the country during November.

    The one in Manchester is scheduled for November 14th 6-00pm. - 9-00pm.

    I'm encouraged by this development and will certainly attend - hopefully the planned later meeting may now be surplus to requirements. We are told space is limited for this consultation so if you've been invited best book your place quickly. If you haven't, and by reading this you clearly have a stake in the game so  contact your local F.A. for times and dates. Some of which I've copied and pasted below: 

    Monday 13th November – Leeds – West Riding FA, Fleet Lane, Woodlesford, Leeds, LS26 8NX

    -          Tuesday 14th November – Manchester - Manchester FA, Platt Lane Complex, The Complex Building, Yew Tree Road, Manchester, M14 7UU

    -          Wednesday 15th November – Droitwich - Worcestershire FA, Craftsman House, De Salis Drive, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 0QE

    -          Friday 17th November – Leicester - Leicestershire & Rutland FA, Holmes Park, Dog & Gun Lane, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6FA

    -          Thursday 23rd November – Basingstoke - Hampshire FA, Winklebury Football Complex, Winklebury Way, Basingstoke, RG23 8BF

    -          Monday 27th November – Glastonbury - Somerset FA, Charles Lewin House, Unit 5 Wirral Business Park, Glastonbury, BA6 9FR

    -          Tuesday 28th November – Middlesex - Middlesex FA, 39 Roxborough Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 1NS

    -          Wednesday 29th November – Cambridge - Cambridgeshire FA, Bridge Road, Impington, Cambridge, CB24 9PH

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    This has taken a long time to come about. It is really important that these workshops are not just a presentation about how the game has grown, or a gripe about the Peoples FA Cup. 

    They must be focussed and effectively run. I was present at a meeting at FA St Georges early last summer. There was a fair representation of walking football clubs from around the country also present. Those present represented competitive clubs, non competitive clubs, a mixture of small and large clubs and the lengthy discussions that day provided a number of issues for the FA to focus on. Offers were made of support from within those present and on behalf of other interested parties.

    • Rules/laws
    • Referee development
    • Clearer categorisation of events Leagues/cups/festivals(no scores recorded or trophies presented)/friendlies/internal sessions - this would ensure that participants took part in events that suited them.
    • Affiliation packages bespoke to walking football and age specific

    If these workshops just go over the same old ground then little will be achieved.

    I hope the FA come with a clear message of how they intend to support the development of walking football during 2018.

    And yes I will be attending.

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    Would agree with GY Alan - think the right people at the FA have plenty of information gathered already around the issues that he has listed - not forgetting the fairly comprehensive survey they undertook in summer 2016. I hope that something concrete and positive comes out of these workshops to add to what is known already. Would then like to see it rolled out as an ongoing plan through the County FAs to take WF forward  over the coming years. Without doubt the FA has been miles behind the curve on WF - please that this doesn't bring another false dawn!

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    Well, an interesting announcement and any sort of pro-active movement from the FA is very welcome but it’s been too a long time coming though. I do hope it proves worthwhile for those attending and that there are ample opportunities for healthy discussions and that it won't just be a presentation from the FA or as GY suggests gripes about the Peoples cup. I am going along too so I guess I will find out firsthand.  Given the discussions GY mentions some months back and the topics covered that were covered I do wonder what else the FA really need to know before plans are made not to mention some actions taken. I had actually forgotten about the survey in 2016, what did come of that ? as an aside does anyone know how to access the results of that survey ?

    Finally, I note that the WFA have called for a meeting with the FA. Given the strong criticism and disparaging remarks they have made about the FA not to mention taking a vote on ‘fit for purpose’ , surprised the FA are going along with it or that the WFA feed the need. To be a fly on the wall at that one !!

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    Oxfordshire FA recently held a similar meeting  with Walking football clubs in the county ,they wanted to find out what was actually happening, it was a very useful evening ,what was clear that every club was completely different in its needs , a follow up meeting will be held in the near future, I will be going to the Basingstoke meeting to represent Chalgrove Cavaliers.

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    I’m not sure I trust the FA with development of our game! Given the recent shambles around the England women’s team and yet more changes to the way the women’s game is organised, I wouldn’t rely on them get this right either. Let’s hope they listen this time. They certainly haven’t regarding their forthcoming re-vamp of the FAWSL!

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    2 hours ago, Left foot said:

     "......I had actually forgotten about the survey in 2016, what did come of that ? as an aside does anyone know how to access the results of that survey ?".....

    I assumed they drew on all that exhaustive information to come up with their rules a couple of months later. Unsure if the F.A. has published the data or just hung on to it - that's a darn good question to ask on the night.

     

     

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    Ok, if the FA called for the meeting as you say then it is even stranger. There are many good examples of NGBs that associations including the FA could learn from. The WFA isn’t one of them though ie a learning base or even a proper NGB.

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    So what is your definition of an NGB?

    Which one would you suggest as a good example?

    There are actually a myriad of NGB' s who have been strongly criticised in the media over the last year alone, so finding a good one is not easy.

    Not aware of any abuse, bullying, racist, sexist, discrimination, blackmail scandals hitting the WFA yet, are you?

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    Gone2Pot, believe what you want to believe but yes, perhaps you never read some of the scathing remarks that have been made towards some contributors to this forum.

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    Can't find any reference on Sport England to the WFA as being a recognised National Governing Body, however the FA is recognised as the NGB for football. I also couldn't find any reference to walking football on Sport England's list of recognised sports.

    In reply to Gone2pot with regards to abuse. I am a previous victim, along with others.

    Anyway let's hope the FA workshops are progressive and proactive in producing an FA development plan for walking football. Anymore dithering and we may all be too old to enjoy any such plan!

    Onwards and upwards.

    #playslowplayfairplaywell #stopthejogtostoptheclog

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