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Lorraine Deschamps, one of The Football Association's 'Football for All' Ambassadors, will offer her support to the Kick It Out 'Weeks of Action' this Friday as she pays a visit to the latest Essex County FA Women's Sevens Tournament, taking place at Powerleague in Hainault between 7pm and 9.30pm.
The regular Sevens event, which kicked off last month in the south-west Essex region to encourage greater female participation, is this time being held in conjunction with the Weeks of Action, a fortnight of special events to which bid to tackle, and raise awareness of, race equality issues in football.
Last year The FA announced a line-up of eleven Ambassadors who share a determination to break down the barriers that still exist in the game and, as one of these, Lorraine will give a short presentation and hand out Kick It Out Goody Bags and trophies after the tournament. These will again include a Fair Play Award, with points will be allocated by the referees of the matches.
Lorraine is a Level Five referee and, having been born in Kenya and raised in Brazil, she has a unique perspective on the game and is keen to see the obstacles to involvement broken down at every level. In England she started out as Club Secretary for a Youth Football Club in Middlesex and is now one of only a handful of female FA Licensed Referee Instructors. She also contributes to the work of the FA Refereeing Department as a member of their Sports Equity Advisory Group, advising on matters relating to equal opportunities in football and, in particular, refereeing.
Essex County FA Girls' & Women's Development Officer for the County's London Boroughs, Sharon Brownlie, has conducted a series of 'taster sessions' in the area and is pleased with the progress the participants have made. "We have a very diverse group of women in attendance so we decided to tie this one in with the Weeks of Action to help send out a positive message to those females who would like to come and get involved," she said. "It's great news that we have Lorraine attending as she is very highly regarded."
Following the success of the initial event in September, Sharon explained the format of this equivalent will remain largely similar: "There will be the same five teams taking part in this tournament that took part in the first one. There has been a massive improvement in the standard of the players and it is great to see all of the teams returning as it shows they enjoyed the last event and they're committed to what we are trying to achieve. If the event is as successful as the last one I will be very happy!"
With further beginners sessions planned for Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, the E.C.F.A. are seeking females looking to take part in the fun, as well as volunteers or coaches who would benefit from involvement in helping to support and deliver forthcoming sessions. Further information can be gathered from Sharon on (01245) 393074 or via e-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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