UK Coaching, a charitable organisation for physical activity has today released a free digital resource to encourage and support females from the South-West into coaching.

Avril Cooke is one of the inspirational coaches included within the campaign.

She has been a pioneer in football management, being appointed the club’s first ever female manager of the men’s Minehead AFC 1st XI in 2020.

Since then she has won the Somerset FA’s Grassroots Coach of the Year for her work both on and off the field.

“Being a youth player in the 80’s and 90’s I never saw any female coaches so it never really was a concept to me.

"I realise now, you can be anything you want to do be, if I go think back to when I was playing football for my childhood club, I remember being in tears when I realised I couldn’t play for the male team, the team I watched and loved, the team I wanted to play for.

"But now I am different, it’s not about telling me I can’t.

“We are talking about individuals, and we need people to come through and break barriers and show that it’s not about grouping people together, it’s about the individuals who should be given the opportunity to make a difference, learn, and improve their wellbeing”

The digital guide includes a range of resources – from videos to infographics and advice on how to get into coaching – all in a bid to break down barriers and inspire more women and girls to give coaching a go in their local community.

The resource comes as part of the organisation’s Women Who Coach campaign – launched on International Women’s Day (8 March).

The campaign brings into focus the many faces of coaching and features empowering female role models of all ages, sports and backgrounds.

To find out more on how to get into coaching, increase your skills, or advance in your coaching role, visit the FREE #WomenWhoCoach digital toolkit