Stepping Over the Sidelines

Cumberland FA and The FA are delighted to welcome Georgia Smethurst on board as Community Champion

We’re supporting women and girls of all ages to ‘Step over the Sidelines’ and get involved in volunteering and coaching across the grassroots game in Cumberland! 

Following the success of the England Women’s team, Cumberland FA and The FA are delighted to welcome Georgia Smethurst on board as Community Champion to build confidence and support the recruitment of female coaches across the County.

Georgia’s role across Cumberland will support female coaches to build their confidence and be ready to ‘step onto the pitch’ by providing practical, on-pitch support as well as signposting existing or aspiring coaches to further opportunities to aid their development.

The brand new ‘Stepping over the Sidelines workshop will be delivered across the county to support the recruitment of new female volunteers and coaches into the grassroots game. Two dates have been arranged – scroll down for details and to register.

What is the Stepping over the Sidelines Workshop?

Stepping over the Sidelines Workshop for women and girls of all ages and backgrounds who would like to get into volunteering and coaching within football.

This programme is designed to allow women with transferrable skills and expertise from other backgrounds to inspire change within the youth game. Your valuable insight from experiences outside of football may just be the advice our girls' youth team needs to progress their development and feel inspired to influence change within the game.

You don’t have to be an expert to help our girls' youth teams gain confidence, learn new skills, and absorb some of your knowledge to further their growth through coaching.


There is no initial commitment, and the free session will act as an introduction to the programme, and how you can potentially play a key part in it. All we ask is to register your interest using the form below.


We have made the decision to postpone the Stepping Over the Sidelines Workshops due to take place at the County FA office in Cockermouth on Monday 15 May (6:30-8:30pm), and in Carlisle on Monday 19 June due to the small number of registrations.

New dates will be confirmed in due course. If you’re interested in attending either of these workshops, please complete the registration form and as soon as a date is confirmed, we will be in touch directly.



Monday 26 June
Whitehaven AFC

Recently local Clubs in Cumberland have been able to get support to access the Introduction to Coaching Football online course at a discounted rate for any non-qualified coaches (male or female) who are currently volunteering with girl’s grassroots teams.

Whether there are aspiring female coaches currently involved in grassroots football (club volunteers, parents or carers) or if there are women or girls aged 14+ interested in getting ‘over the sidelines’ but don’t know where to start or feel they don’t have the confidence – please get in touch.


Any Cumberland Clubs who already have a network of female coaches/parents/carers or volunteers interested in getting involved with the Community Champion programme, please email If there is sufficient demand, a dedicated ‘Stepping over the Sidelines’ course may be delivered in a Club environment with support going forward for female coaches within their club environment.


Get in touch using the short online form HERE and we can signpost you onto the next stage – whether you have qualifications or not… Start here! 

YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE ANY COACHING QUALIFICATIONS – If you would like to get more involved in volunteering in football this is the perfect place to start! 

To help you get started - The EE Playmaker course is a free, online entry-level course is for anyone (age 14+) interested in taking a more active role in grassroots football. Click HERE for more details.

What next?

With support from The FA we will shortly be launching a support network for female coaches (and aspiring coaches) with face to face and online sessions. Details will be confirmed soon for this exciting development.

Plus, the CFA Female Coaches Support Network which was established prior to 2020, will restart for women who are coaches or volunteers in the grassroots game and will serve as a support network for females in Cumberland. The dedicated Facebook page will be refreshed and interested females can join to network and access support moving forward with support sessions delivered at various points throughout the season.

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