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World-classCoach and Referee to Host Free Workshop

FIFA Ambassadors Roadshow: World-classCoach and Referee to Host Free Workshops

Coaches and referees in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington have a unique opportunity to learn from two of the world’s best at four free workshops to be held between February 20 and 23.

The FIFA Ambassadors Roadshow will be run by England women’s national football coach Hope Powell OBE and FIFA Head of Refereeing Sonia Denoncourt as part of the build up to the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

The tour through the four host cities for this year’s 16-team tournament starting on October 28 will kick-off in Auckland on Wednesday, February 20, continue then on Thursday, February 21, in Hamilton and will stop in Wellington on Friday, February 22. The roadshow will end in Christchurch on Saturday, February 23.

Michele Cox, FIFA Women’s Football Committee Member, says next week’s workshops will benefit all coaches and referees – not just those from the football community.

“The roadshow is for anyone and everyone who is interested in progressing to the top level or those simply wanting to start out in coaching and refereeing,” says the former New Zealand International.

“Everyone will find Hope and Sonia's stories inspiring because they’ve both succeeded in what has typically been a very male-dominated environment,” Cox added.

Cox points out that Powell was the first woman to achieve the UEFA pro license – the highest coaching qualification which is currently held by only one coach in New Zealand.

“Since becoming the national coach in 1998, she has changed the whole achievement levels of England,” says Cox.

Distinguished by her dreadlocks, Powell gained 66 international caps prior to her coaching career and became an Officer of the British Empire in 2002 for her services to women’s football.

Canadian referee Sonia Denoncourt has also succeeded in a predominantly male profession, becoming the first woman to control a men's 1st division game in El Salvador in 1996. She has refereed over 100 international games during her 27-year career.

Powell and Denoncourt will lead seminars and run practical sessions next week aimed at both representative and novice coaches. Those interested in attending the workshops can register at


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