Hallam & Redmires Rangers JFC
Who are your club committee members and what do they do?
Andy Nolan, Club Chair, sets the strategic direction for the club and chairs our bi-monthly committee meetings and quarterly managers meetings. Paul Michalowski, Club Secretary, manages much of the club’s day-to-day business, including our key relationships with the leagues, the FA and our referees. Russell Leighton, Club Treasurer, manages the club’s finances, and prepares the annual budget and accounts. Jim Rushton, Girls Teams Representative, coordinates the development of the girls’ teams and the club’s Euros Ready Club Pledge initiatives. Sarah Middleton and Andy Hepworth are respectively Girls Teams and Club Welfare Officers with responsibility for welfare and safeguarding issues. Matt Coulson, Club Kit Officer, is responsible for the sourcing and maintenance of the club’s equipment and each team’s matchday and training kit. Most of the committee members are also managers or coaches of one of the club’s teams. We are actively recruiting more committee members, including a Boys Teams Representative and members responsible for Fundraising and Communications.
Where are you based?
We are based at Redmires Fields, Lodge Moor, S10 4LJ, with pitches also at Hallam Primary School and Castle Dyke. Many of our players attend the local schools in our area – Hallam, Lydgate, Nether Green, Tapton, King Edwards VII and High Storrs, but we welcome players from a wide catchment.
What is your club philosophy/Culture?
We are a friendly club that welcomes girls and boys of all abilities. Our main focus with all our children is simply to ensure above all else that they have fun playing football with their friends, but we are also keen that they develop into good team players, become better footballers and play the game in the right spirit. Our players are ambitious to improve as footballers and they enjoy the competition but they do not place winning above all else. Most of our players stay with the club from the moment they join all the way to U18s and we’d like to think that through the club they and their parents form friendships for life.
What is the clubs current female football offer?
The club currently has 6 girls’ teams, from U8s to U16s, with a total of almost 80 players of all abilities. All our girls’ teams have been founded over the past 5 years. Our ambition is to have a girls’ team for each age group. We also have a Wildcats Academy, for younger girls and those new to football.
What does your club to ensure that it is the great place for women and girls to play and enjoy football?
We create a fun and positive environment for our girls, at training, on match days and at social events. Our coaches are kind and supportive, but they also push the girls to improve at football and as team mates. We require our coaches to do the FA Playmaker course and encourage them to take the FA Level 1 course. We try to provide positive role models – half of our girls’ teams have female managers or coaches. We recently conducted an FA-sponsored survey of all our girls, which yielded really positive feedback, and we have just established a parents committee, initially comprised just of mums, to gain more regular feedback and generate ideas as to how the club can further improve its offering to girls. We are also establishing a Player-To-Coach Programme for our U16s Girls so they can learn more about the game and help coach the younger teams.
Why is your club a great place for women and girls to coach/volunteer at?
Half of our girls’ teams have at least one female manager and / or coach, and we now have 7 female volunteers in total, including one member of our steering committee, a number we are looking to grow in future. We do not require our volunteers to have prior experience of coaching, or even football, as we believe the most important quality for a coach is simply the ability to create a fun and safe environment in which the girls can learn new skills. Just as with our players, we are very supportive of our volunteers – we have a buddy system for all new managers and coaches to help them find their feet and to grow within the club, and we support all coaches with their training. The camaraderie between our volunteers is excellent and we believe all our managers and coaches find their roles to be really rewarding.
How has the Euro Legacy Pledge affected the club?
The Euros Ready Club Pledge has acted as a catalyst for the further development of girls’ football at the club and our continued recruitment of female managers, coaches and other volunteers. We have benefited from ideas generated as part of discussions with the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA and other local clubs involved in the project and have received support from the County FA in developing some of the initiatives. In particular, we are establishing a Player-To-Coach Programme for our older girls and a parents’ committee to generate ideas and feedback. We are also in the process of recruiting more female volunteers to our steering committee, making some changes to our constitution and refining our website to make it more representative, all suggestions of the County FA. We also worked with the County FA to develop a survey of our female players, which was a very worthwhile and insightful exercise.
What are your hopes and ambitions for the future of the club?
Our ambition is for Hallam & Redmires Rangers JFC to continue to thrive as a diverse and inclusive club and to be increasingly seen by our community as one of the best clubs in the region for both girls and boys to participate in football and for both women and men to volunteer as managers and coaches. We would like to grow the girls’ teams so that we have one for each age group, from U8s all the way through to U18s, as is currently the case with our boys’ teams, and to provide all our teams with first classes pitches and match day facilities. And we would like many of our older players to contribute more widely to the club and community by, for example, helping to coach the younger teams or becoming referees.
How do you believe the upcoming Women’s European Championships in Sheffield/Rotherham will impact your club?
We are hoping that the championships will significantly increase the profile of women’s football in our area, in particular with younger girls. We receive a steady stream of enquiries from parents looking for their girls to join our established teams, but our priority as a club is to recruit younger girls and grow teams from the U8s upwards, through both our Wildcats Academy and our contacts with local primary schools. We also believe that the championships will inspire our existing players to continue to improve as footballers. A number of our teams are planning to attend games at Bramall Lane and New York Stadium for the fantastic opportunity of being able to watch some of the best women footballers in the world. And finally, we hope that witnessing such an exciting event will encourage even more women to get involved in coaching or otherwise volunteering at Hallam & Redmires Rangers.