Grassroots Football Coaches Sow the Seeds of Community Spirit; ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Article excerpt

GRASSROOTS football is a vital part of life in the North East, where football has always played a huge role in bringing communities together. But whether it's young kids taking their first steps in the game, boys and girls playing after school or adult Sunday league teams, one thing's for sure - football in our communities wouldn't happen without the coaches.

Angie Rutter, an administrator and coach, is one of the thousands of grassroots volunteers up and down the country who are committed to the game.

The passionate football fan from Washington, Tyne & Wear, is one of more than 20,000 qualified coaches created through the partnership between McDonald's and The Football Association to help improve standards in the grassroots game and beyond.

Angie has been a qualified coach since 2004 and originally got into it because of her football-mad son who wanted to play for his local club Lambton Lions.

Unfortunately, the team for his age-group was already at capacity so Angie spoke to the club and enrolled on a Level 1 coaching course with Durham FA in order to get her coaching badge and create a new team at Lambton Lions that would give her son and other youngsters the chance to enjoy football.

Angie is dedicated to the team and has continued to coach the same boys - seeing them gain numerous promotions and expand from 7-a-side to 11-a-side.

Her organisation and communication skills make her a fantastic coach and she commands respect from the youngsters and parents at Lambton Lions, who value her tireless commitment to the team.

Angie said: "Good coaches are the lifeblood of the grassroots game and I'd encourage anyone to find out more. It's so rewarding, lots of fun and there is a real need for more people to get involved. …