This article outlines one of the most vital parts of the process - how the participant actually books onto a session! Confirming a place on a Wildcats, Just Play or Age UK Walking Football session is when it really gets exciting for a player, so the process of doing so on the FA Events Platform has been made as seamless as possible.
From a Wildcats perspective, the parent/guardian will have to do the booking for the youth because participants will be under 16. For Just Play and Age UK Walking Football bookings, the process is very similar - however, you might not have to rely on someone else doing it for you!
To book onto a session as a participant, you will need to go to the England Football website - https://www.englandfootball.com - and navigate to the Find Football Near You search tool which can found by hovering over 'Play and Participate' at the top and then choosing the necessary heading for you under 'Play'.
Enter the information in the question boxes, including:
- If you're searching for yourself or your child
- Your age
- Whether it's male, female or mixed football you need
- If it's casual kickabouts or club football you want
- When is best for you to play (weekdays, weekends or both)
- If you're looking for disability options or not
- Your home postcode or location
Then you can Find Football Near You!
Depending what you have filled in, this should then bring up all the relevant information about the football you want to play and the places where you can attend sessions. You can edit anything using the 'Filters' option at the top to refine your search further if needs be, and you also have the option to do another search at the bottom.
Each box is a different club/casual football provider under the appropriate heading which you can click on to find out more detail - or you can use the maps view for a different look at football in your area.
When you've selected the right provider for you, it will bring up all the details about the provider and its sessions that are taking place in the future. This includes venue, contact details of the coach, along with information about the session and what it's like. There will be a 'Book' button to press - and if you're interested, go for it!
Once you've clicked on the booking link, that's when you'll be transferred over to the FA Events Platform. You can view all the details of the event and session(s) that you will be booking onto at this stage and you also have the ability to share the page with a friend or parent. For Just Play sessions, you need to be at least 16 years of age and for Age UK Walking Football, you need to be 50 years young. For Wildcats, parents would do the bookings on behalf of their child.
If you want to book just the one session that you've selected, press the blue 'Book This Session' option. If you want to book a few sessions in one go, then use the green 'Book Multiple Sessions' option and select the sessions you or your child can attend. Take note of the session spaces each week, and once appropriately selected or unselected, click 'Continue' at the bottom. After that, here is where you will need to log in or create an FA account if you don't already have one.
In this situation, since Wildcats are set to the ages of 5-11, the parent will need to create an account or log in using their own FAN number. There is the option to create new FAN numbers by doing this. The system will then allow the parent or guardian to select the child they wish to book onto sessions. If their child/youth is not visible, they will need to contact their County FA.
Once logged in or after creating an account, you will get to the booking screen. Simply book yourself or your child onto the session(s) by selecting the necessary name from the 'Select Existing Player' drop-down list. Any other names connected to your FAN will be displayed alongside your own here, but of course choose the correct person for the type of session in question. You can add a youth to your FAN if you see a child not in the drop-down list by clicking 'Add Youth' and filling out the details.
After choosing who will attend the session(s), just fill in any medical or accessibility requirements that the person has so the coach/organiser of the event is aware (it will appear on their registers). You can add an emergency contact number as well at this point or another youth before pressing 'Continue'.
Be assured that none of these details will be visible publicly as the site is fully GDPR compliant.
The last part may include a question about your physical activity levels which you just need to answer. After that, you have to confirm photography permission for yourself or your child by ticking or unticking the box and then confirm your booking by hitting 'Book Now'.
And that's it! Once all your details have been filled out, your booking is confirmed and you're ready for the next session. You can view your booking if you want, which will take you to your Events Platform homepage. Then, you will be able to see a list of all your 'Current Sessions' on your session list for the provider and have the ability to book more directly from there via the 'Recommended Sessions' tab!
Please note: There is no obligation to attend or pay for the event during the booking process via the FA Events Platform. The organiser will get the opportunity to mark who has actually attended later on and they will process the payments themselves.