The purpose of The FA Young Leadership Camp is to deliver an inspirational leadership opportunity for young people aged between 16 and 18.
My experience on the FA Young Leadership Camp and what I learn't:
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There were many workshops at the camp, both physical and theory. All 100 leaders were active all the time in the range of different activities. The types of workshops that we as young leaders were involved in were:
There was also a range of short informative sessions that we chose to attend to, about certain aspects of football that we could eventually get into, if we were interested. The sessions included; FDO (football development officer), FA coach, events management, physiotherapy, marketing and promotion and PE teaching. This was very helpful to me, and showed me what sort of careers were out there for me as a young leader wanting to pursue coaching.
My favourite workshops were the Disability football, Futsal, Media Training and Football Science, mainly because I enjoyed them personally and I had so much fun being apart of them. The workshops have made me really eager and motivated to get involved more within my county FA, as well as bringing as many more young leaders in my area to football.
All the workshops were very carefully organised and as a result, I as a young leader, was able to learn and take away new knowledge from them, but most of all I was able to enjoy it.
I have taken so much away from the camp's workshops. However, the biggest and unforgettable part of the camp was not knowing I was going to come back with a totally new view and aspect for everything, especially coaching. I went into the camp knowing no one but the other leaders from Cumberland and Westmorland FA and left with over 100 friends. I met people from all over the country, most of which i am still keeping in touch with. The young leaders were the people who made the camp so special and memorable for me, as well as the down to earth, enthusiastic mentors who supported us all the way through and treated us like young leaders not as children, which everyone I'm sure will agree with me that we appreciated them that extra bit more because of this.
Although I am a very confident outspoken coach anyway, I feel the camp has given me the knowledge and experience needed to further what I want to achieve. The free gear we received at the camp wasn't a bad gain either. Although I won't miss the complaints from everyone about the constant diet we had of chicken and pasta all week.
Yes, all the time, throughout the camp I was trying new things and being put in different situations. Most of the time I volunteered to put myself in them situations because I like to feel challenged, to think fast and bring new ideas in urgent situations.
However, one night on the camp, it was the middle of the week, all young leaders were tired because it was the busiest day, physically. After the reflection time in the lecture theatre we had one last activity to do, which was unusual because we'd normally finish after the lecture. The university of Warwick isn't the smallest campus, so all 100 leaders had to run 15 minutes in a thunder storm to eventually get to an available sports hall on time. At this time it was half past nine and everyone could have easily turned in, but we were all still very enthusiastic for more activities.
The activity we were set was to go into our groups and use the 5 pieces of equipment laid out to make a game; all 5 pieces had to be used at the same time and we only had 15 minutes to think of a game. Our group was handed the hardest of equipment because no one knew what it was; we managed to think of two separate games that used all of the equipment, but we kept being asked by the mentors and coaches if what we were doing worked well and if it was safe.
Jordan (a young leader in our group who was leading the session) had to try and interpret the equipment in a safe manner because it was so cramped in the sports hall. The game I was leading was simple enough, I was challenged by a coach asking me a range of questions, for example; would this be suitable for a person with a disability? It gave me the chance to adapt the game and improve it where it needed to be to suite the needs of everyone playing it, which helped me massively because we it came to lead the session one of the young leaders had a disability. So overall the session worked out better and I had feedback from young leaders who took part, that said it was a lot more enjoyable after it had been improved.
Without a doubt I would recommend it, 10 out of 10 for the politeness from everyone, the accommodation, the food, the workshops were fantastically put to get and everything ran smoothly on the young leaders side, any problems that occurred if any were sorted efficiently.
All the young leaders who attended the camp will say the same thing, it really is a life changing week and can make the smallest of minds and best of coaches stretch out of their limits and learn things they didn't know about themselves.
The FA leadership really has made a huge impact on my coaching and me as a person. I am very grateful to have had the fantastic opportunity to attend the camp, I'd do it all again tomorrow for the rest of my life, was so much fun.
Thank you :)