I am currently a member of the Kent FA Youth Council and was initially told about this programme at one of our meetings. Originally, I was just going to help out with setting up etc, but hearing further about what was in store, I decided to sign myself up and I wasn’t disappointed!
The programme is aimed at getting more young girls and ladies involved in all aspects of the football industry – which can only be a good thing. I am hoping for a career in sport and knew this would be a great start.
The day was jam packed with activities and advice to help us all on our journey into football. When I arrived, I noticed that there had been a good response from girls from all levels of football from grassroots teams to RTC clubs. I play for Charlton Women Reserves and it was good to see some of the girls from Charlton’s U16s RTC squad also taking part as well as girls from many other clubs around Kent.
The day consisted of a variety of activities and talks, covering aspects such as self-esteem and how to overcome setbacks to fantastic talks from inspirational athletes on how they had achieved their dreams and goals. We had speakers such as Emma Tune from Gillingham Ladies and even a Olympic gold medallist, Charlotte Evans, telling us what it was like to win a medal in skiing and what barriers she had had to overcome. It was great to spend a morning hearing how others had achieved their goals and how we could do the same.
We worked in groups over the afternoon covering different areas such as Marketing and Communications, learning how to promote football in all areas, for example how to get involved in sport as a career or just as a leisure activity.
I think my favourite part of the day was a session run by Rob Horswell as he told us what educational paths we needed to take for various jobs to do with sport, such as sports therapy. He gave us an indication as to what routes we could take and whether the jobs we were interested in would need a university education or what other ways we could get into the sports industry. Also, finding out what it takes to become a personal trainer or work in sports science, how to look after your body and making sure you know how to avoid those injuries or how to look after them if you are unlucky to pick one up!
Another talk was on development and organisational skills in how to work in a league or how to promote or run a club. All these aspects were shown to us in a way that made it fun and easier to understand or made us think what we would be interested in in the future, and areas that we may not have originally thought about.
Also, there had to be some physical stuff – and in the afternoon, we were taken outside by Natalie and Louise who put us through our paces with some basic, fun activities and skills to get us started on how to get others interested in sport and football or maybe just to get active! I really enjoyed this part because it showed new ideas for activities that you can do with younger players that you volunteer with.
After all this we needed a sit down and the perfect opportunity came when we were given a question and answer session with all available speakers so we could ask anything further we wanted to know in any aspect of the sport industry.
This day didn’t just confirm for me what I want to do in the future, but also gave me ideas of other options that I could take – but I still think I would really like to follow the sports science/personal trainer route further.
I have now been given a mentor in this area to help me on my way with any questions or problems I may have. I may not need them right now, but it is nice knowing that there is some further support there if I need it and I wouldn’t have been able to go out and find that support quite so easily had I not been at this day.
I have been a member of the Football Futures programme since 2014 and have already achieved over 150 hours of volunteering in football and I have now become a Football Futures Ambassador. I definitely would encourage everyone to sign up to the Football Futures Scheme and, of course, for another one of these great days – it’s worth it, just look what you can be involved with and then achieve!