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Do Cornish schools have a part to play in football development?


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I sat down and posed a question to myself today. How much input does the Cornish school system have in the development of football within the county?

Does it depend on where you or your kids go to school?

Having experienced the education system in America, I know how high they place sports in the school system.

In Australia, in your first weeks at school you petty much have a go at every sport then you have to choose your favourite one and that's all your play through out your senior school years. Let's be honest they must be doing something right winning all the comps they do.

However in this country, I think the main sport you play has a lot to do with the personalities of those in charge of the PE departments and the National Curriculum.

When I was at Redruth School, most of the PE teachers were linked with Redruth Rugby Club. The only real chance of playing football was in the playground as all sports lessons were centred around Rugby. Any ex Redruth school pupils disagree?

Now I appreciate Cornwall is historically a rugby county but it seems a tad but unfair. I doubt anything has changed.

So is it a case of tough shit move schools or should something be done at national level?

I remember asking Trevor Brooking at a meeting in London in 2002 what the Fa was doing to develop football in rual areas?

And no joke, this is comming from the man who's job is Fa Football development "There's not a lot we can do, because getting everyone together is difficult, as people in the countryside live far apart". Sorry but bollox. Saying that he did come down this year to open up Wendrons new ground.

Off my soapbox now.

What's your opinion?

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Guest titan1

i went to redruth school and it was all rugby, the rugby team went on tour all over the country but the football team stayed at home, it is sad there is alot of raw talent in cornwall and not enough is done to give the youngsters the chance they need to make it in the football world all because of there post code !!!

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When I was at school age my father was in the RAF. When I was aged 11-13 I lived at RAF Kinloss near Inverness. In the autumn term we had cross country. In the summer term we had athletics and swimming in an unheated outdoor pool with no roof that was bl**dy freezing.

But best of all in the winter term. Our games afternoons were spent learning highland dancing. No wind-up it was so cold outside we had to stay indoors and the only way they could keep us in the hall was for the whole year (about 100 of us) to do the same thing so dancing it was. Actually it was great fun. Boys would be on one side of the hall, girls on the other. At the start of the afternoon, one week it would be the boys turn to go and grab a partner, the next week the girls turn. You should have seen the stampede to get the best looking partner. :lol:

When I lived in Hereford as a primary school kid 7-10 we had the use of big aircraft hangers and played 5-a-side footy, tennis, rollerskating, etc.

Before then from 5-7 years old I lived in Kenya and can't remember playing outdoors at school as it was the time of the Mau-Mau who were fighting the Brits for independence. I remember going to school in an armoured convoy and the school had armed guards, barb wire fences, etc.

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Guest postman pat

with more and more clubs forming youth teams surely with more qualified coaches being trained there should be links formed for recruitment and developement of the game nationally with schools.having watched my sons play at school when games are not cancelled the standard of coaching in most cases has not been that great as most of the teachers have been rugby orientated.and in the case of one teacher a down right cheat when refereeing on more than one ocassion.

we all hear that teachers do not have the time to dedicate to these areas so if qualified coaches can help then this will free up more time for the staff and allow the coaches to recruit more players surely a win win situation obviousely the required checks would have to be made for the childrens sake

.my son has just started a 2 year course at cornwall college based on the academy system where at the end he can gain a levels and progress through the sport industry and also have top quality coaching meaning he does not have to leave cornwall like so many youngsters in the past.if more schools are aware of this and the course takes off this may help because lets face it we have the facilities at cornwall college and it is an F.A developement centre.

i will stop now otherwise you will think i am coopsie :yahoo: :P

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I agree with what you're saying Postman Pat. In primary schools where there is no dedicated PE teacher it seems to be left to the "sportiest" teacher to make what they can of school teams and yet this is the level we should be encouraging our kids to get into sport. It would be great if qualified coaches could go into schools and coach teams, and quite a few of them do (me included). Unfortunately as most youth coaching in Cornwall is voluntary and unpaid I can't see this happening on a large scale unless some kind of financial incentive is offered. Many coaches already give Youth football their Saturday and Sunday mornings for free so asking them to put in another afternoon or two without pay just ain't gonna happen.

On a slightly separate note I'm sorry to say that FA involvement (including CCFA) is all but non-existent with Youth coaches once you've got your certificate. I've been coaching youth for 3 years now and have never even seen a representative of the FA/CCFA either at training sessions or matches. Not that I have anything to hide but I would have thought somebody should have checked up on me in all that time don't you? If only to check that I'm using current training programmes and techniques.

Finally, I study at the sports department at Truro College and I can definately say that it's pretty much rugby all the way there.

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Hello guys, Im am writing from a current PE teachers. The current schools education system means that schools must offer a balanced curriculum i.e they cannot just play "one" sport or one type of sport. Pupils must experience invasion type games, net and wall, striking and fielding, OAA and Athletics. There is no rule however that pupils must play eithet rugby or football or hockey, that is up to the discretion of the school.

Most of the schools if not all do play rugby and football though i'm aware that some schools are looking into the possibility of taking football out of the curriculum as they beleive pupils play enough football out of school anyway!!

Depending on where you attend school could have an influence on the quality of the teaching due to the expertise of the department which could have a knock on effect on the amount of time different teachers/departments spend on extra curricular activities. As a teacher I will dedicate as much as I can to the pupils ( may not be the case for all teachers), whether that is running rugby clubs, football clubs or basketball etc but the quality of my football provision is better than rugby. Luckily at my school we have some rugby specailist teachers and local club links which again is important.

Back to football. The County has a schools an East Cornwall and West Cornwall U14 and U15 teams with a Cornwall U16 team. The U14 and U15 teams are run on voluntary basis and teachers/schools recieve no funding so schools could be reluctant to let a teacher have time off to go and play away in Somerset. Cost to school approx £200. I coach/manage the U15 team with Lee Hazeldine and had a really successful year last year and played at least 5 games out of the county, luckily both our schools were supportive and allowed us this time/expense to travel. I am fairly confident that West Cornwall struggle to run these teams and may only run 1 age group U14 then take them through to U15 therefore missing out on a year group, but I'm not sure. I know that Carl Swann at Camborne is involved though.

We hold our County trials every year and some schools fail to send any representatives which is always dissapointing and may hold back or deny players the chance to represent the county. Some may feel that the school you attend has an impact on if you get in ( football is all about opinions). I will tell you that I don't care where my players come from and I pick what I believe to be my best team, I want to do the best I can, after all I'm giving up a lot of my time for free, I'm not going to pick players because i like them!!

Many sixth forms, colleges etc now run football academys which hopefully feed into Cornwall Schools and Cornwall Youth, but as we know, clubs who support these youngsters get punished when they have to play games with 3/4/5 players missing to play for the county youth side!!

My last rant!! Too many youngsters have too big ego's and think they know it all and are beyond learning. There are too many players picking up wage packets for playing at a mediocre standard and the clubs around the county need to address this. Local players should be showing aspects of loyalty, playing to enjoy and learn about the game not to pick up beer money!! Ban paying players U18!!!

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I think that many of you reading this thread will realise that money plays the biggest part in all of this. As a head of PE in Cornwall, I have to balance the time given to team sports and try and allow for pupils to take part in new and intersting sports. My heart has always been in football but as I have just started playing rugby again I have nothing but admiration for players, coaches and especially, officials. The biggest problem with football is the role models and how they are perceived amongst the young easily influenced pupils. I now have far more interest in teaching rugby and its codes of conduct and respect than I do for teaching football with its immense lack of respect for officials etc.

Money has ruined and is continuing to ruin football at the top end of the scale and not enough is filtering through at the teaching and coaching end of the scale i.e. schools and clubs.

HERE ENDETH THE LESSON

McHUGH

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How sad it is to read previous super postings, which do bring home the reasons for the problems we all know to exist and feel helpless to put right.

When so much goes to sheer excellence and virtually none to improve the over-all standards of fitness and ability.

There is no apparent lead from the F.A. at any level and one can be excused for questioning its value to us.

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Hi Guys

Thought I'd add my twopenneth to the debate.

I certainly can't disagree with Grant for his openness and truth about the PE system we have in place because all of our children have to be given the opportunity to play as many games as possible and choose for themselves which they'd prefer to play. Moreover, the FA actually promotes the playing of other sports so that you can learn from other activities and stop you getting stale.

I am employed at Newquay Tretherras School as the Football Development Officer, a post originally engineered by the FA/CCFA to improve the implimentation of football in the area. A post similar to mine exists at Callington School and other posts are in the offing at Penryn and probably in Penzance.

My role is to improve the delivery of football throughout the curriculum and to create a better school/club link system between ourselves and the neighbouring teams/clubs. I also teach into out "family" of primary schools to help primary teachers deliver the game in a more organised and structured manner to their students.

I head up our leadership programme at the school teaching the Sports Leaders Award to around 90 students per year many of whom are young footballers and they are taught the values of good sportsmanship and have the opportunity to referee/officiate in games for our primary school students when they come to our school on festivals etc. I also teach the "Principles of Sports Coaching" to 6th form students.

Part of the system we employ at Tretherras is that all our 6th formers who play in the 6th form elite squads have to give a little back into their sport and each February around 15 of my footballers get the chance to take their level 1 coaching award and they all help by coaching the lower year groups along with the teacher in charge and referee "interform" competitions.

Lastly, the CCFA put on "In-Service" coaching evenings for all coaches to attend through the county on a regular basis. We try to link it with a club in an area and invite other local clubs to attend. I'm involved as one of the CCFA coaching staff and we put on all kinds of topics that give all coaches some new ideas on youth coaching. Having achieved my UEFA B Licence and completed my FA Youth Coaches Course I know how important new ideas are and the benefits to all concerned.

The CCFA are very active in the promotion of youth football and steps are currently being taken for the provision of Mini-Soccer Centres around the county.

If you want to know more keep an eye on the CCFA website or speak to Phil Cardew the Cornwall FDO who puts in an enormous amount of work to develop youth football.

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Guest Postie Pidge

Going to Penryn School (or Penryn Sports College as it is now) with PE teachers like Adrian Bick and David "Benjie" Thomas (Cornwall Rugby player and manager) football was never a priority. In the last two years of school, we NEVER had a football game in PE. It was either badminton, tennis or basketball. It got very boring for the football enthusiasts.

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Guest postman pat

its very ironic tommy and proves my point.you have put so much effort into the schools system in newquay and if i am right in thinking there are about 5 boys from newquay in the county u`18 squad.my son is of the same age so i have been out in all winds and weathers over the last eight years watching this age group develope and its nice to see some names i know on squad sheets but how many boys have been let down by our county because they do not have a dedicated coach like yourself to nurture them.but it is nice to know that other areas are trying.its just a shame that in kerrier we always seem to lose out because of the men with odd shaped balls.if you go into any school playground at any age you will always see a football game being played more so than rugby so when will the school system wake up and give the children what they want.

in reply to martin mchugh by role models do you include the current england captain of rugby who is banned for violent conduct or the england player who is going through the courts at present for assault.would you like to see your child with a cauliflower ear.please dont make rugby players out to be snow white because they are no different than footballers the only difference is that football is our number one sport.the premier league the richest in the world.so when a footballer coughs it makes the front page of the national rags.how many rugby players have reporters follow them waiting for a mistake.yes i know that footballers do not respect officials because i am one but that is down to the FA and the media.to many armchair critics are quick to condem refs but would not go and do the job.

rant over football will be the winner :c: :thumbsup:

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Guest Sullivan

Finally, I study at the sports department at Truro College and I can definately say that it's pretty much rugby all the way there.

I work at Truro College in the Publicity & Design Dept and what you say does appear true from an outside prospective. However, both the college rugby and football 1st teams play in national cup competitions and have quality staff backing them. We are linked with Plymouth Argyle now so that might help raise the profile and opportunities for young local footballers.

Hope you're enjoying your course Ronin :thumbsup:

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Guest Sport Lover

Schools do have a very important part to play in sport for youngsters. I know Tommy works at Newquay and newquay used to have a very good hockey club/team but now thats all gone. The pitch changed to a 3g football field and Cornwall have lost what used to be a solid club and will probably never get it back. I am not blaming anyone because I dont know the reasons why this happened but we need to keep as many clubs going as possible for every sport.

I also believe sports lessons are now down to 45 mins and sometimes there isnt even enough time for a shower. This is completly wrong. We used to have double PE lessons which took 2 hours so plenty of time for some training, a match and a shower.

In some parts of America PE lessons now involve a Nintendo Wii and a dance mat with a Playstation is this the route we are going down?

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In answer to your question regarding the 3g pitch, the Football Foundation and its rugby counterpart funded a huge portion of the money for the pitch which to be fair has more uses for the wider population than the old 2g pitch.

Granted, it doesn't do hockey many favours but we're still able to teach it at the school to a high standard and can use it to teach cricket using a wind ball during the summer.

All local schools teach football as part of the curriculum, and even though you may have rugby players as teachers, they all put a lot of effort into football as well. I know our teaching staff care every bit as much about delivering the subject, and since I've been at the school in the last 3 years, the scheme of work and delivery of lessons and after school clubs has changed a lot, meaning that the other staff have been willing to embrace new ideas and practices.

I also teach football to our girls in games lessons and with our school/club link with Newquay Ladies, our U-13's have recently become County Champions.

Perhaps some of you have had bad experiences with school football and I know it still goes on, but not all schools are the same.

Recently a friend went to Australia on a fact-finding trip to see how sport is delivered there. The facts were actually quite startling. We all hear about the brilliant academy systems the Aussies have in place and all that's true. What you don't hear about is that that only exists for anyone who has any aptitude for sport. For the rest of the students, they just get given a ball and told to get on with it! There's no structured lessons for the less able players, and the same goes for America as well. Fact is, the country with the most obese people next to America is.............Australia!

We're a really sport-orientated school with a Fitness/Athletics Coach as well as a full-time Dance Teacher and a fitness suite most health clubs would be happy with. That didn't come by accident. That's the product of a school who has invested time, money and considerable effort into a system that allows everybody the chance to excel in either academic and/or sporting ways and appreciates the huge "feel-good" factor that good sporting achievements give the whole school.

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Since America's been mentioned a couple of times now, I thought I'd pipe up.

ChownUK wrote: >>"Having experienced the education system in America, I know how high they place sports in the school system."<<

And I'd just like to say that's probably too high a place! In my town the primary students can't check out half the books from the library because the spines are falling apart (on the books, not the students), but the basketball teams get new uniforms each season. Priorities are seriously out of whack.

SportLover wrote: >>"In some parts of America PE lessons now involve a Nintendo Wii and a dance mat with a Playstation is this the route we are going down?"<<

And that's due to several divergent factors: obesity, yes; but also a lack of safe places to play outdoors. Many districts -- especially urban ones -- don't have the fields or space necessary and so have to find other ways to "move" about.

It's weird in a country as sports-obsessed as the US that fitness is so totally disregarded. In fact, not long ago, an entire state (Georgia) eliminated the PE requirement for primary school children because the districts were complaing that they didn't have time to prepare for all the stupid testing so something had to give -- and it was exercise! Yet we still continue to pump money into athletics for a few.

So what we've got is a generation of people who don't see the connection between exercise/fitness and organized sport, who aren't "in shape" during the brief period of organized sport in their lives (and that's only if they play) and who don't make fitness an integrated part of their lives.

Partly I blame this on the fact that the two major American sports, Baseball and Football, don't require a great deal of fitness, frankly (did you notice the beer guts on some of the players at the game at Wembley?). This is in opposition to soccer, which puts a premium on being able to run and run -- and would therefore be a much better sport to teach youth to get them fit!

Long-winded, I'm sorry, but I hope your schools can avoid following any sort of American model.

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That's another pretty negative comment from you chairman, after all the FA has ploughed over £1m into Cornish football in recent years.

How do you expect to have better players at St.Blazey and the likes when they don't get taught properly at school and at club level when they're young? The golden years of learning are between 6-12 or thereabouts so it makes sense to teach them properly at school.

Start by making sure all your coaches from U-7's right up to your senior squad have the relevant coaching qualifications and you may start to see a difference.

Part of today's problem is that too many of today's players are unwilling or unable to accept being told something by a coach or manager and all they want to do in training, that is if they bother to turn up to training, is play 5-a-side instead of working on shape and technique.

By the state of some of the players I've seen turning out recently, the only training they do is in the pub!

I also refer you to my recent posting, the CCFA holds "in-service" coaching evenings for all coaches to help them and also runs a very comprehensive coach education programme up and down Cornwall for anyone to sign up to, what else do you want?

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Everyone seems to be pointing to the schools and the teachers when they are part of the problem but full credit to schools and teachers they have addressed and are trying to make connections with clubs.

How many clubs in cornwall can honestly say they link up with the local school for players and work with the school to allow for the better delivery of football in schools and out. Would it take much for a senior club such as Blazey, Bodmin, Liskeard to hold a coaching course? Have the 1st team manager take the session put a face to the club in schools even some of the players if they have their badges.

The next step for me would be the introduction of a better under 18 league with more support from the clubs. To many 16 17 year olds that are good players build up big egos because they getting a chance in senior football, when some of them could achieve higher and become alot better. Once a player gets a ego the become impossible to coach as they are not interested in what you have to say. Tommy Matthews deals with this first hand and has mentioned it.

A joint effort from schools clubs and the county FA would make development for youngsters better i think its unfair to solely point the finger at schools.

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You may be surprised when you were last contacted Chairman.

The CCFA writes to clubs inviting them to attend "In-Service" evenings, perhaps your club doesn't need to attend, I don't know.

Why don't you do something that all other clubs do, check the CCFA website yourself and see when the events are on and maybe even book some of your staff in on some of the coach education programme!

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Chairman, you hit the nail on the head by saying when where YOU last contacted by a school!?!? Should it be down to the schools to run around on their own and sort things like this out. We expect schools to aid football development but the reality is they DONT HAVE TO! With the New Curriculum starting in September Football Rugby or any other invasion for that matter can be removed completly from Teaching.

However, i myself have put time into coaching the Mullion School girls team and will continue to put as much effort into football in school as i can and i have no doubt that with people like Grant, Tommy and many others football will continue to have a place in schools. It is not enough thou CCFA clubs and schools need to work together to make the development structure better and more practical within a school environment. As Grant said earlier he was lucky that Bodmin College supported his role as joint county coach and allowed him time off timetable. Not all schools will allow this. In order for teachers to be allowed time to offer these extra time for football other areas will lose and the dangers of not meeting Curriculum requirements looms.

It is a difficult situation which i agree needs improving and thats not just for football. Rugby Clubs have started to make the step forward especially the Pirates. I would like to think that Truro will put something back into football development in schools and others will then follow.

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Follow Truro?????? I think (hope) you will find lots of clubs are already in schools - St Agnes is presently hosting 3 after school clubs at 3 local primary schools - free to the schools - and very popular and well received within the schools! I am sure other clubs must also be doing this? The CCFA has supported this on its school/club link scheme with the provision of some coaching equipment and the promise of some financial reward back to the club as well. The after school club within the St Agnes Primary School which is completely free and voluntary I have been involved in for 7 years now - it has resulted in a girls team within the Kernow League which I have managed for 4 years now and I hope will progress on to some Lady footballers of the future!

I am sure there is lots we as football clubs could do to help promote football within our local schools - club mini-soccer schools, helping with after school clubs and other things.

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Chairman, with over £600,000 going to Wendron alone, after their years of hard work, planning, and consultation, actually it's not hard to see.

You clearly have little idea what's going on around the county, what's happening at St.Agnes is also happening in other areas. Perhaps you club should be more pro-active and join in, maybe you could get up out of the armchair that your avitar depicts and do something other than moan!

The CCFA rolls out loads of initiatives every year and thousands of young players prosper, I could go on but frankly I've tried and now I'm bored with you.

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Sorry Aggiemaid, i was not aware of what St Agnes are providing, Things like that are what required from more clubs throughout the county. Hopefully your club will benefit for your efforts in the future.

Tommy losing battle comes to mind! it does not matter how much is done or offered. You can do more in the eyes of someone else. Im only just starting my teaching career but learning very quickly everyone is prepared to moan and complain. Very few can be bothered to do something about it, someone else will do it for them if they moan long enough!

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