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Coaching in Cumberland: Sharron Caton

A focus on Sharron Caton at Abbeytown JFC

On International Women’s Day, we thought it would be a fantastic day to highlight one of grassroots football coaches in Cumberland and shine the spotlight on the rewards (and challenges) of coaching!

abbeytown sharron.In the first of our series of ‘Focussing On Female Coaches in Grassroots Football’, we spoke to Sharron who coaches Abbeytown JFC.

Sharron has truly embraced the support offered to her throughout her coaching journey and is a valued member of the Female Coach Development Group in Cumberland.

Sharron has also enjoyed the Women’s Over 35 Football this year!

The Start of Sharron’s Coaching Journey 

“I started coaching in the Summer of 2022. My daughters U8 Girl’s team were losing their coaches and were looking for a couple of volunteers to help out….

After a little bit of gentle persuasion, I put myself forward to help alongside another Dad of one of the girls. 

It was never my intention to become a coach to the girls, although I understand the game watching from the sidelines, I have no coaching or playing experience and I was worried I would let everyone down!”

The Favourite Part of Sharron’s Coaching Journey

“My favourite part of coaching is seeing how much the girls are enjoying themselves whilst training and playing games. 

Watching their development not only on the pitch with their skills but also to see their growth in confidence along with the friendships made and team spirit across the team is very rewarding. 

We have a fantastic group of girls who are eager to learn. I want to continue to motivate and inspire them and hope that my love of the sport rubs off on them !!”

The Challenges Faced in Sharron’s Coaching Journey

“The challenge I have with being a female coach in grassroots football, is mainly just believing in myself. 

I want to be the best I can be for the girls, to see them improve over time with our help, but also to make sure whilst doing so, that they are having fun! 

I have enrolled myself on several courses online and in person over the last year or so to help me gain confidence. I’m really enjoying the process.”

Sharron’s Advice to Women Who Are Unsure About Getting Involved           

“For other women who may be considering getting into volunteering and coaching I would say just go for it!                                                   

Nobody expects you to be perfect and it is so rewarding seeing the children play and have fun. 

Being a part of their progression over time, watching them support each other, make friendships and building a team spirit.  To be a part of that and help with that is very rewarding.”

There are many women like Sharron volunteering and making a difference to football across the County. Without male and female volunteers there would be no grassroots football. By focusing on female volunteers as coaches, in this series we’re aiming to bring more women into the game to support both girls and boys football, and become role models for the future generations. 

Football Development Officer Helen Aitchison said: “We want to encourage more women to make that ‘step over the sidelines’ from encouraging spectator (and most likely biggest fan!) to become a vital cog in the football side of things, whether that is by supporting current volunteer coaches and reducing their workload or having the confidence to be the coach themselves.”

Find out more about our Female Coach Development Group

Get more involved in your child’s grassroots football club and attend one of our FREE Stepping Over the Sidelines Workshops

Not sure about coaching but would like to play? Find out about our Women’s Over 35 playing opportunities

Become a referee

If you have any further questions or would like to chat about how you could get more involved and what the next steps are; please contact our Women & Girls Football Development Officer, Helen Aitchison on 01900 511800 or email Helen is also on Facebook if Messenger works better for you – (Helen Aitchison-Cumberland FA)