Hertfordshire FA Strategy 2021-2024

Grassroots Strategy Update

Details of how we have progressed against the goals from our strategy at the end of the 2022-23 season

With the end of the season comes the opportunity to reflect on progress against our goals from our 2021-24 Strategy

Our Strategy for Grassroots Football, which was launched in 2021, identified 30 strategic priorities covering all aspects of the game across the county.

At its core are six pillars – areas of focus aimed at delivering growth in participation, from creating a positive environment, strengthening the club and league network, supporting the grassroots workforce, improving facilities and providing effective governance.

Two years into the plan it’s pleasing to see strong progress many key areas, in particular significant growth in participation and widening opportunities for women and girls.

• Male participation up to 40,793
• Female participation up to 6,656
• Disability participation up to 474
• Number of Weetabix Wildcats centres up to 40
• Clubs with a Full Female Pathway up to 21

We have also worked hard to deliver for the Grassroots Workforce, training an additional 327 new referees in the 2022-23 season alone. Here too we have looked to increase opportunities for underrepresented groups and are pleased to report that the number of female referees in the county has exceeded 100 for the first time.

In addition, a wide range of locally delivered CPD which combined with online learning offerings from England Football saw coaches across the county benefit from an array of development opportunities, helping ensure they stay ahead of the game.

• Total registered Referees up to 1,164
• 1,039 recorded instances of Coach CPD in the last season
• 161 Grass Pitches improved

As we head into the final year of this current strategy it’s also valuable to see where additional focus is needed in the year ahead to reach our goals. We continue to work with clubs and leagues to ensure they offer the best possible environment for everyone to enjoy being involved in the game.

• Youth teams with a qualified coach 88%
• 86% of Youth clubs England Football Accredited
• 34% of Adult clubs England Football Accredited

In addition we are pleased to have delivered against a number of other key objectives over the last two years, with our Inclusion Advisory Group now well established and changes to our structure as we work towards The FA Code of Governance requirements.

During this period our Safeguarding practices have also been independently assessed by the NSPCC, where we were able to show our commitment to making Hertfordshire a safe, fun and inclusive place for all to enjoy playing the game.

Following the announcement of these latest figures, Hertfordshire FA Chief Executive Karl Lingham said:

“The end of the season offers everyone in the grassroots game an opportunity to reflect on achievements over the last year and start making plans to improve plan for the upcoming season and at it’s no different for us at Hertfordshire FA.

We are delighted to see that the majority of our key objectives are on track to meet the targets that set out in our 2021-2024 strategy and as we enter its third year, we will be continuing to push across all areas to ensure our goals are met.

Having launched while still in the grip of the pandemic, football’s role in helping improve mental and physical health had never seemed more important. Although COVID is now largely behind us, we remain focussed on ensuring that as many people as possible are able to enjoy the many benefits that come from being part of the game.

Thank you to all of those involved who have done so much already and we look forward to working to deliver even more for our communities in the year ahead.”