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Student football provides a unique, special environment with the potential to shape lives, build careers and generate positive experiences. The fundamental role of the BUCS Advisory Group must be to foster this environment on behalf of the member students, clubs and institutions wherever possible.
The BUCS Football and Futsal programmes encapsulate a huge amount of activity which has genuine breadth and depth. Huge progress has been made by the network in recent years around a number of football related initiatives. Partnership work with the FA has illustrated well the ability of the sector to meet the objectives of the National Governing Bodies, whilst at the same time supporting student focussed developments.
The next phase of the evolution within student football in a BUCS context must be to further strengthen this partnership work – crucially focussed on solid pathways for players and non-players alike – and to identify ways in which such partnerships can be translated across the whole of the UK.
The future of student football delivery must be concerned with delivering high value participation and competition at every level and with ensuring that the right ingredients are in place to support this activity.
Of course, the Football Advisory Group is not in a position to fully address this whole spectrum and therefore a clear focus is required. That said it is vital that BUCS maintains a strategic overview at all times and ensures an integrated and outward-facing approach.
The Advisory Group must therefore assist BUCS in achieving the right balance: male and female; participation and performance; development and sustainability; local, regional, national and international. It must foster a system within which players, coaches, support staff, administrators and supporters alike can easily access opportunities and can do so in a way which complements both their own development and that of ‘the game’.
With all this in mind, the following pages outline a suggested way forward for the BUCS Football and Futsal Advisory Group – referencing the rich and diverse activity within the sector but homing in on the key roles that the Group is best placed to perform.
It is against this outline that recruits onto the newly formed group will be sought.
1. BUCS Football and Futsal Strategy
2. Rules, regulations and competition structures
3. Member feedback and liaison
4. Representative and International Football
5. Home Nation FA liaison
Each of these areas requires an input from the advisory group at a certain level. In general the group will engage in a consultative capacity, though will also need to be strongly engaged in planning and communications.
In general, the group should be designed to influence; communicate; identify resources; integrate delivery; ensure strong planning
Specifically, the group should take a leading or supporting role in producing/ delivering the following:
- An overarching strategic direction for student football and futsal
- A rolling plan for the funding and delivery of representative/ international programmes
- Regular monitoring and updating of BUCS Football and Futsal competition rules
- Regular two-way communication with the BUCS membership on relevant topics
- Rolling review of competition structures to ensure best fit
- Maintenance of regular, appropriate dialogue with Home Nation FA staff and officers
- Production of an annual report of activity, to be shared widely
- Design and delivery of a communications plan for BUCS Football
In order to be successful in delivering the key outputs, the Advisory Group needs to be well organised, properly resourced and inclusive of the right blend of skills and experience. It needs to be broad enough to cover the key areas outlined above yet lean and agile enough to get things done.
Most of the outputs will be driven forward between meetings through specific portfolios of work and/ or specific areas of the country. The group must also articulate well with existing football related forums and structures that are already in place – taking advantage of potential synergies where these exist.
It is expected that a core group of between 6 and 10 individuals be convened at least twice per year, with others feeding in to this core group remotely, through sub groups or e-mail subject networks.
It is expected that the core group would be supported and informed by the relevant BUCS staff and would include the following positions:
• Chair – Stew Fowlie
To provide leadership for the group and chair all meetings, be the first point of contact for the BUCS Head of International and Head of Communications, Commercial and Marketing
• Competition Representative
To offer advice and guidance to develop the structure of the BUCS Mars Football Competition. This person will also be responsible for advising on changes to the football rules and regulations
• Communications Representative
To write and collate stories relating to activity within HE football including the BUCS Mars Football competition, development activity and other interesting stories from HE institutions
• Futsal Representative
To advise on the development of the Futsal programme including competition structure, rules and regulations, supporting student clubs and other development activity
• Student Voice
To develop a network of club captains and ensure the voice of students is represented within the decision making process
• Members without portfolio
These members will be recruited based on their experience and knowledge of HE football. Their roles will be to provide an overarching opinion and specific advice to those members with specific remits.
What is needed within this group above all are individuals with a well-developed knowledge and experience of the game. An understanding and passion for student football is desirable.
It is expected that within the sector there will be students and staff with these key ingredients that have the time and expertise to contribute strongly to the enhancement of the BUCS programme. It is also hoped that experts from elsewhere in Football will add their experience to the group.
BUCS would be pleased to hear from anyone at this stage but in particular is keen to recruit from the following groups:
Directors & Assistant Directors of Sport
Directors of University Football Programmes
Volunteers with relevant experience of BUCS and Governing Body football administration
If you are interested in being part of the new Advisory Group then please contact Tom Gee at BUCS (email@example.com) to register this interest. Applicants should complete the expression of interest form and submit it along with a cover letter. The deadline for applications is Monday 20 August 2012
The next step will be to invite selected people to a strategic football meeting, to be held in London on 3rd September.
Thereafter the core group and the surrounding support networks will be identified, with the former being gathered for the first official meeting in advance of next Academic Year.
It is hoped that the above is clear, but should you wish to ask any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Advisory Group Chair
07903 891 497
Last updated: 17th Jul 2012 15:39