iCanVolunteer: Angela Emery
What does your role entail at Horsforth St. Margaret's?
I am the Club Secretary at HSM, which is running the Club with the committee, ensuring all players and teams are registered with club, league, county and FA. Ongoing admin throughout the year from new teams, new players to disciplinary (yellow/red cards) etc. I am also the joint Welfare Officer so ensuring that all the governance is in place and all volunteers have the correct qualifications especially DBS, first aid and safeguarding. Another role I have is organising events at the club, this can be to raise money for the club and/or for other charities such as Zarach and Young Minds. In the past we have had galas, world record attempts - most penalties in an hour and it’s a knockout. We are currently (COVID allowing) planning some special events for this year which is our 100th year.
How did you get involved ?
Before moving to Leeds and having a family I was always involved in football, I worked at Burnley FC for 14 years as the Press Officer and players liaison and played football myself. When my eldest child was about 3 I took him to ‘dribblers’ which is the free football provided by HSM for all kids aged 3-6. I then got talking to the coaches and explained my background in football and got roped in from there!
Why do you give up your free time to volunteer at Horsforth St. Margaret's?
I’ve always loved football and have the opportunity to be able to volunteer outside of my full-time career. My two boys absolutely love playing and I want to be part of the team that enables the opportunity for all kids to be involved in something they love doing. If people don’t volunteer then grassroots football will stop.
What do you enjoy about the role?
I enjoy doing my bit to get the kids on the pitch. Whether that be registering the kids or marking the white lines. Being part of a community sport gives you a real sense of pride and achievement. It’s something I can share with my boys and my husband as we are all involved and it’s a common interest that enables us to spend more time with each other.
What has been the highlight of your volunteering experience?
I think the world record attempt and it’s a knock out fun day. Having over 1,000 people joining in, organising and coming together as a community was amazing to be part of. The other highlight is our dribblers, allowing kids to just have fun in a safe environment, seeing the smiles on their faces and their knees caked in mud is brilliant.
What has been the biggest challenge during your time as a volunteer?
COVID has definitely been the biggest challenge, it’s so important for kids mental and physical health to be playing sport and working with the committee to ensure that we are adhering to the government and FA rules whilst still being able to provide some form of training and matches for 92 teams was a big challenge.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering in football?
Just do it, it doesn’t matter how much or what it is as every role is important as another, if someone didn’t put the nets up the match couldn’t go ahead, if someone doesn’t take the team for coaching the matches can’t go ahead, if someone doesn’t help with the admin, the registration can’t happen. The FA Playmaker is a fantastic free online course to do for anyone who is thinking about volunteering. Having had grassroots football stopped because of the pandemic has really shown how important it is and I’ve really missed it.