International Womens Day 2024


On International Women's Day Durham County FA would like to highlight the great work Women & Girls do within our Grassroots Game.

International Women's Day 2024 

To celebrate Women’s International Day and the theme of ; 'Invest in women: Accelerate progress', Durham County FA would like to highlight the great work Women & Girls do within our grassroots game.

Mary-Katy McIntyre - Wrekenton Nou Camp 

What is your role;

 Within Wrekenton Nou Camp I have multiple roles, Club Welfare Officer, Mini Soccer Coach, Head of Parents Committee, Tournament Organiser and Committee Member.

How did you get involved;

 My son started grassroots football at age 4, our club is in a deprived area and they struggled for volunteers. I loved the community spirit of the club and could see the benefits the kids were getting from being there, so when they approached me about becoming a Welfare Officer I accepted as thought I could make a difference in the club for all involved. I could see so many areas of improvement and over the last two years have got involved in all areas to get us to where we need to be.

What do you enjoy most about your role;

 Seeing the club grow and develop. Over the last two years our club has made huge improvements to benefit all. I am so proud of how far we have come. I coach our totts along with club chairman and I love how happy the kids are to see us each week and the enjoyment they have during our sessions, they make Mondays such a better day! 

What is your fondest memory you can recall regarding your role in your club?

 We had our safeguarding check in January and the feedback was fantastic ‘one of the best inspections they have done’ this was huge for me and the club. Positive feedback like this makes all us volunteers hard work worth while. As a welfare officer I could ask for more.

What advice would you give to any Women who are thinking about getting involved in football and specifically in a similar role to yours?

 If you have the time, do it! Yes it’s time consuming but so rewarding to not only yourself but the club and children. We need to see more women involved.

Linda Beadle – Darlington Locomotives

What is your role within

I am the Secretary and Welfare Officer at the club

How did you get involved?

 A previous club decided not to have girls within their club so we set up our own all girls club 2 years ago with the help from yourselves and the league and have never looked back. The club is thriving and sees new girls and more recently women almost every week. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

 The interaction with the girls and women in the club. We don’t turn anyone away and encourage all, regardless of ability to take part. We have development sessions to cater for those new to football, squad girls and just play as well as teams for girls competing. It is amazing to see the girls and women grow in confidence and see the difference football makes in their lives. We are told this time and time again.


What is your fondest memory you can recall regarding your role in your club?

There are so many amazing moments which include:

Do you always have a smile on your face…… no I don’t by the way but it’s great that they don’t see some of the stresses.

Can I just tell you something…. Then a child or adult shares something of their life with you because you are there week in week out and have built up relationships.

Another said - This club has changed my life…… I love it when I wake up and it’s a football night because it means I will be with people who care about me and my family. 

Someone else shared - You are a real football family….all the coaches and people involved really care about the children here and each other, it’s like a big family. 

What advice would you give to any Women who are thinking about getting involved in football and specifically in a similar role to yours?

Make sure you find the right club that cares about football for all regardless of ability, not just those who want results. Get into football,  it’s a wonderful way to make friends, break down stereotypical barriers and to engage with a caring community, if you find the right club.  

Getting into a similar role takes hard work, you need a thick skin, you will come across prejudices and you will be talked down to unfortunately, there are still barriers to overcome but together we can do this. Together we can make a difference. We need more females in the game and in administration roles. I love working with my male friends and learning from them and we just need to make sure we have the right people in the right roles to more forward in football. 

Rosa Referee

Rosa Bainbridge – Referee


How did you get involved in Refereeing?

I got involved as I have always loved football as a player and thought refereeing would give me a different perspective to the game. My Grandad was a referee and I had always talked to him about matches. 

What do you enjoy most?

I really enjoy being able to understand why a decision has been made as previously when playing the game I may not have understood exactly what was wrong in that instance. I have also really enjoyed meeting other local referees through the CORE events and particularly the opportunity to work with and meet current referees who officiate Premier League and Championship games.

What is your best achievement in refereeing  and why?

I was fortunate to be selected as 1 of 50 women to join the England FA Emerging Talent Programme for female referees last year. This has also given me the opportunity to meet other referees at many different levels from around the UK and even meet professional referees such as Rebecca Welch.  The input from the FA has been great from fitness programmes to developing knowledge of laws of the game and a great national camp at Warwick University.


What  would you further like to achieve?

In the future I would like to gain promotions on the pathway and hopefully one day referee an international game.


What advice would you give to any females  who are thinking about getting involved in Refereeing?

Just do it! you will meet new people, keep fit, travel to different places and challenge yourself.