INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN IN THE GAME LIZ COCKER
What is your role within Darlington Spraire FC?
I am Assistant Welfare Officer, Assistant Club Treasurer and Club First Aider.
Tell us about how you got involved with Darlington Spraire FC?
I started by supporting the children, both our boys started aged 5/6 at Master Skills. When our eldest wanted to join a team, we chose a local team within the area. One Saturday my eldest son came to the car to inform me that the coach wanted a word. The coach said that your lad has said that his dad might be interested in helping, can I ring him? He was asked to help coach the team. At first he wasn't going to but he was told ‘I’ve got too many players, I’m only playing those good enough for team, so the rest won’t get game time, including your son’. Hence the start of our grassroots journey. I attended every week with him, I was the back up so that he could concentrate on the players. I took the subs, register, sorted injuries, stood and watched and supported all the players and parents when necessary. I was also the player liaison for the team, organising, washing kit, messaging parents and being a Taxi for players without car. Then the clubs first aid coordinator and welfare officer left the club, so I took on both of these roles becoming part of the club committee.
I always have the best interested of the players and volunteers within the club at heart and fortunately organisation is on of mine and my husband’s best traits.
What is your best memory you have faced in this role?
My best memories are from being a mum, seeing the lad’s efforts, working towards their goals and the team sprit that the group of lads have.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in this role?
The number of times myself and my boys have been there with their dad an hour before training, after training setting up, packing up, waiting for parents and setting up home ground etc. Do I regret it? No. Would I change it? No.
What advice would you give to females wishing to get involved in roles within the game?
Go for it, there is nothing stopping you apart from yourself, and the majority of time there is good support and respect. I have supported my boys for the past 24 years on the touchline (even now as adults) and still support them and the club behind the scenes as a volunteer, depending on what is required.