An innovative girls’ football club is set to replicate the coaching techniques used by some of the world’s top sports stars – including Team GB’s Olympic medal-winning curlers – thanks to a funding boost.
Jeanfield Swifts Girls FC, based in Perth, will become one of the first youth clubs in Scotland to introduce advanced performance analysis software, allowing the coaches to review all aspects of individual and team performance.
This pioneering approach to developing the club’s coaches has been made possible by two commercial sponsorships and the support of sportscotland’s sportsmatch scheme.
sportsmatch is an award scheme that supports grassroots sporting initiatives which encourage participation at community level, especially youth groups, by matching the commercial sponsorship invested into the project.
Club officials secured the support of Fife Computers and Performance Innovation Limited to provide an iPad and Focus X2i software, which will allow them to improve the quality of their coaching sessions.
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: “We are delighted to have provided investment for this project as part of the sportsmatch award scheme, and hope that this funding will help to develop the club’s coaching methods to help encourage more women into the game.
“It is encouraging to see this forward-thinking club embracing such advanced training and coaching techniques, by utilising the same technology as is used by our experts at the sportscotland institute of sport to support high performance athletes on the world stage.
“sportscotland is committed to increasing the number of people involved in sport and physical activity, and supporting a project like this will certainly help to achieve this goal.”
The funding will also allow the club to purchase new training equipment, such as power speed resistors and speed agility coaching sets, to complement the analysis software.
Once the coaches are familiar with using the analysis software – which will develop their coaching abilities – the club is also planning to start a Soccer School which will cater for girls from the age of nine to help to increase participation.
Dave McCaw, from Performance Innovation Limited, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to support Jeanfield in making use of Focus X2i. We want our software to be accessible and affordable for coaches at all levels and to raise awareness that video analysis is not just for elite level athletes. It can make a huge difference at development level too and we are sure the great work being done at Jeanfield will highlight that.
Ken Dorrian, of Fife Computers, added: “We were delighted to support such a forward-thinking club. The fact that they are very much a community club driven by volunteers makes their efforts at developing their players even more commendable.”
Jeanfield Swifts Chairman Steve Grossi said: “The club was delighted to be supported by the three organisations. The sportscotland sportsmatch scheme is fantastic, as it not only supports good sporting initiatives but also attracts businesses into the process, creating links and relationships that will hopefully be long-term. The club has developed very quickly in recent years and we see the introduction of performance analysis as a major component of our strategy to ensure players and coaches realise their potential. We want both coaches and players to be assured that when they come to Jeanfield Swifts they will be supported and developed to their maximum potential.”