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Catherine Perry-Jones coaching a football session

As a self-confessed sports fanatic, Catherine Perry-Jones has always had a passion for being active. Since completing EE Playmaker by England Football, however, she’s coaching with confidence and motivating the next generation of stars.

Catherine, who has three children, explained how her youngest daughter, aged seven, really wanted to get involved in football: “She loves it. She really wanted to play. At first, I was sort of standing on the sidelines.”

It was FA Coach Development Officer Danny Fenner who noticed Catherine’s enthusiasm at training sessions, and this prompted him to approach Catherine and suggest a volunteering role with the girls at Little Canfield Stars.

“I saw Catherine on the sidelines, and she was pacing a bit, and very enthusiastic! She was very caring and understanding of the kid’s needs, so I asked her to support me in coaching the girls.”

While tentative at first, Catherine was introduced to EE Playmaker by England Football, which helped give her an introduction to football volunteering.

“It can be quite daunting to put yourself out there, but I did the EE Playmaker by England Football course, which eases you into what football is all about and gives you ideas for different age groups that I hadn’t really considered before.”

“It’s given me the confidence to think I can do things, and although my football knowledge may be more limited than others, I can motivate, encourage and engage players, and at a primary school age, that’s more what they need.”

Now she’s coaching regularly each week, her ability and confidence continue to grow, and Danny believes this is evident in each session.

“She’s a fantastic coach! Absolutely she is a fantastic role model too; the girls look forward to working with her every Sunday.”

EE Playmaker by England Football is a free, online course designed to help volunteers like Catherine learn more about the basics of football, develop confidence and step over the sidelines and into the game. To get started, you just need a laptop, mobile or tablet – and the enthusiasm to get stuck in.

Find out more about EE Playmaker by England Football and discover where it can take you today.

Watch Catherine's story in full: