Grassroots Football Coaches Sow Seeds of Community Spirit; ADVERTISING 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 the community together. But whether it's young kids taking their first steps in the game, boys and girls playing after school, on the weekend and during holidays, or adult Sunday league teams - one thing's for sure, football in our community wouldn't happen without the coaches.

And Angie Rutter, an administrator and volunteer football coach, is just one of the thousands of grassroots football volunteers from up and down the country who are passionate and committed to the game. The passionate football fan from Washington, Tyne and Wear, is one of more than 20,000 qualified football coaches created through the partnership between McDonald's and The FA to help improve standards in the grassroots game and beyond.

Angie has been a qualified football coach since 2004 and originally got into coaching 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 local youngsters the chance to enjoy football locally.

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 and the many hours of her spare time that she spends down at the club.

Angie would encourage others to get involved, too. "Good quality 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."

And you don't have to be a top player to coach the game at grassroots level, Angie believes anybody can consider becoming a football coach: "Pretty much anyone can be a good football coach. …