The first FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme (CMP) on Tuesday reached a conclusion in Zurich.
In the programme, which was inaugurated last year on October, 17 elite members of the women’s football coaching world guided 21 mentees.
The closing workshop presented an opportunity to mentors and the mentees to come together to discuss their experience of the CMP, in order for FIFA’s Women’s Football division to enhance the experience for the next cohort.
One of the most high-profile mentors was undoubtedly Jill Ellis – The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2019. A session during the workshop named ‘Coffee with Jill Ellis’ was conducted which saw the two-time world champion coach discuss her success and the CMP with FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman.
“I think the programme has been fantastic. The purpose of it, to bring people together, not just the mentors and mentees – but also to bring the mentors together, to spend time with my peers, has been fantastic. It’s about connecting people. The programme will continue to evolve and grow. I think everybody involved with it has found the benefit in it,” FIFA’s official website quoted Bareman as saying.
“Monica [Vergara, Ellis’s mentee] is fantastic. She’s a good person. You get to know the people beyond the coaches. She’s got great energy and is a really good coach. She’s just a wonderful human being,” Bareman added.
Both the mentors and mentees offered feedback during the workshop, which also served as a celebration and graduation of the mentees.
Bareman further stated that it is really important to facilitate a transfer of knowledge.
“I think it’s really important to facilitate a transfer of knowledge. When you have such experienced, capable coaches who are willing to support and provide expertise and give their experience and knowledge to the next generation, we have to facilitate that and we have to make use of it,” she said.
“A lot of the success of the programme has come from how good the pairings were. We’ve had some amazing results from the coaches on the pitch as well and a lot of our mentees have taken up the helm of some of their youth national teams, which I think is concrete evidence of the positive results of this programme,” Bareman added.
Patricia Gonzalez, FIFA’s Women’s Football Technical Development Manager, said the main objective was to increase the number of qualified female coaches.
“One of the main objectives we have in our women’s football strategy that was launched last year is to increase the number of qualified female coaches, and also increase the opportunities for them,” Gonzalez said.
“Part of this workshop has been to take feedback from both mentors and mentees, to try to optimize the programme for the next edition and try to identify more mentors. We see the programme rolling out again as soon as possible – optimized, increasing the numbers involved and the duration of the programme,” Gonzalez added.