Rachel Habergham makes history as the first woman appointed to the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA’s board of directors in its 156-year existence.
Taking on the role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director, Rachel’s appointment brings impetus to this next era of football, demonstrating the board’s commitment to ensuring governance and leadership is diverse and modern.
Rachel brings with her a solid understanding of grassroots football. Her family is heavily involved with Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Grassroots Club of the Year, Kiveton Park FC. She is the club’s welfare officer and a committee member, and her husband and three daughters are all involved in playing, coaching and administration at the club.
In recent months, Rachel has been part of a team creating a disability pathway at the club having been inspired by her youngest daughter who has autism.
She champions social inclusion and is keen to address inequality within grassroots football to create a football environment for all. While studying for her master’s degree in People and Organisational Development, Rachel did a research project on gender diversity in leadership of grassroots football so she is personally interested in striving for positive change at this level.
Commenting on her appointment, Rachel said: “The journey to ensure football truly is a game for all is an exciting one, but I believe it will only be successful if we all work together to ensure everyone who participates in football has a great experience on and off the pitch and feels welcomed.”
Professionally, Rachel works for the NHS as an associate director with responsibility for strategic workforce planning. Until recently she was also the chair of the women’s staff network at NHS Digital.
Rachel joins an experienced Board who have overall governance of the County FA. They oversee various aspects such as accountability, policies, financial investment, and strategy.
Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Chair, Brian Coddington, welcomed Rachel’s appointment to the board.
He said: “We’re delighted to have Rachel join the board. It reflects an important step in our commitment to add to the skillset, diversity, and knowledge of our board. Her vision and determination to grow and develop the game across our region, making it easier to access and reducing barriers, is one we all share.”
Rachel will also chair the County FA’s Inclusion Advisory Group. The group was established last year and provides strategic advice and guidance on equality matters to the County FA. Rachel aims to ensure the group truly represents the demographics of our community and add value in advising the Board.
She said: “I want to engage with local communities to listen and discuss ways our Inclusion Advisory Group can represent your community. It’s important that I listen to the many different voices across our County, particularly those who currently have no link to the County FA but want to be involved in football.”
If you, your club, group or organisation is interested in discussing this further, please email Rachel for further details at: Rachel.Habergham@SheffieldFA.com
For more information about our Board and Council members, please visit the Governance section on our website: www.sheffieldfa.com/about/code-of-governance