with Karyn Walters, chief executive, WaiBOP Football
We're properly into the football season now — it's been wet. It's been cold. It's been fun.
All the region's junior teams have their first few games under the belt, while the youth and senior sides are starting to see their seasons take shape.
As always, along with all the games, we have lots more going on across the region.
The New Zealand Football Skills Centre is a development programme specifically designed for the future football player. There are skills centres at several locations this winter, including five across the Bay of Plenty.
Coaches help accelerate the skills of the serious Kiwi footballer with sessions designed to fit our unique culture. The programme is under-pinned by NZ Football's player-centred coaching approach, which means every player will be treated as an individual and receive the best coaching available.
I'd encourage footballers keen on taking part to visit our website to find out more and to sign up for their nearest course.
The skills centres have replaced what used to be known as the rep programme.
We received some great news for WaiBOP goalkeeping recently when our own Max Tommy was appointed goalkeeper coach for the New Zealand football women's U17 team. Also on the goalkeeping front, it's fantastic to have Georgia Candy and Rylee Godbold (both from the WaiBOP region) in the wider squad as they build towards November's FIFA U17 World Cup in Uruguay.
WaiBOP goalkeeping is on the rise.
As part of our goalkeeper coach education programme we have an Introduction to Goalkeeper Coaching course at Fergusson Park, Otumoetai on Friday, June 8. WaiBOP also offers a range of Community Coach Education courses. These include Junior Introduction, Level 1 and Level 2 and Youth Level 1 and Level 2.
For more information about our courses, visit the coaches section of the website.
Clubs and schools should also look at contacting WaiBOP's player welfare officer, Louise Trappitt, to organise an 11+ or 11+ Kids course.
The FIFA 11+ is a complete warm-up programme designed to reduce injuries among players. Coaches will receive some new resources, plus some RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) packs. The Fit4Football team have expanded their programme and also offer Recovery, Female Athlete and Nutrition workshops for clubs who have hosted a course.
WaiBOP Football's AGM will be on Monday, June 18 at Brian Perry Sports House, 52 Akoranga Rd, Wintec Rotokauri Campus in Hamilton. I look forward to seeing representatives of the football community there.