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Charter Festival a day of fun
 Women's Football News 18 Jun 2009
Speed Shots, 5v5, passing, dribbling and shooting were just some of the skills that hundreds of local children, coaches, parents and spectators witnessed at the annual Essex County Football Association Charter Standard Festival on Saturday 6th June, held at Colchester United Community Sports Trust's Shrub End Community & Sports Centre in Boadicea Way.
Various training sessions, small-sided matches and activities were staged for boys and girls from Charter clubs across Essex, led by a team of qualified coaches from the FA Tesco Skills Team, the ECFA and Football in the Community coaches from both Colchester United's CST and Southend United's Community & Educational Trust. Each year the County FA stages various free events at the end of the busy football season to appreciate their flagship clubs, with an adult equivalent following in August.
The FA Charter Standard Programme is a best practice guide that sets yardsticks of coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League as a benchmark for quality to improve the playing experience for all. Participants on the day were given sessions on various soccer skills as well as being afforded the opportunity to participate in small-sided matches. Everyone went away with a medal and certificate as a memento of their day to remember.
The wet weather even stayed away long enough to ensure everyone had both a dry as well as an enjoyable occasion, according to ECFA Club Development Officer, Ian Bent. "This event was a way of thanking all our Charter Standard Clubs for their hard work over the past year," he said. "This was my first experience of the Festival and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. To have over a hundred ten and eleven-year-olds participating was fantastic! I must thank everyone who assisted on the day and all of the clubs who supported the event because without them it simply wouldn't have happened."
For the adults, a men's tournament will take place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 1st August in Chelmsford, while the women's equivalent is scheduled for the same times the next day. Ian continued: "The event is free of charge to encourage as many of our CS adult clubs to attend. It is one of the benefits for our adult clubs and is a way of the ECFA giving something back to the teams who meet the high standards of the Charter Standard programme on a regular basis week-in, week-out, and may not receive as many benefits as our youth clubs."
Booking Forms can be downloaded at www.essexfa.com or can be requested from Ian Bent on (01245) 393094. Alternatively, e-mail ian.bent@essexfa.com, with forms to be received no later than Friday 24th July at The County Office, Springfield Lyons Approach, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 5LB. A £10 refundable deposit is required with each booking and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, limited to two teams per club. Team sheets will be sent out once places are confirmed.

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