The FA has opened the application process for its Coaching Bursary scheme – an initiative designed to support aspiring coaches from under-represented communities take the next steps on their coaching pathways.
Jointly backed by funding from Sport England, the scheme is for coaches wanting to gain their FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football qualification and builds on the previous COACH bursary programme, by providing all female recipients as well as male recipients from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, with a financial contribution towards an FA coaching course.
As part of the FA’s commitment to addressing the under representation of BAME coaches, more opportunities are accessible now than ever before.
As well as the FA Level 3 bursaries, coaches working in the professional game can receive financial contributions towards any of the following: The FA Level 4 (UEFA A) in Coaching Football, The FA Advanced Youth Award or The FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) in Coaching Football.
The FA’s Coach Inclusion and Diversity Manager Wayne Allison, who oversees the bursary programme, said: “What we’re aiming to do with The FA Coaching Bursary scheme is to increase not just representation, but the talent pool from which clubs can pick their managers and coaches.
"We’ve had some great successes in previous years, with some exciting young, aspirational coaches being able to access a new tier of learning they might not have been able to do otherwise.
"And so, I strongly urge any coach reading this who is from an under-represented community, to take a closer look at these bursaries and consider whether it’s something that could be of real benefit to them. We want to hear from you.”
A key advocate of the scheme is Swansea City assistant manager Paul Williams, who believes making access to qualifications is vital in helping more coaches unlock the next level in their careers.
Williams, previously interim head coach at England U20's, said: “Managerial jobs in the country are based on experience but crucially qualifications too, which is why getting up that coaching ladder is really important.
"It's something I've really majored on throughout my coaching and managerial career to date and I'm constantly taking new courses to improve.
"That's why it's great to see The FA put this sort of support in place for coaches where cost is a barrier to getting that next qualification. It's a fantastic initiative."
The application process is open through to Monday 30 January 2017. Click here to submit your application via the coaching bursary portal.
To find out more about the bursary, click here to take a look at the frequently asked questions page.