1. Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?
Sport was a really important part of my life whilst growing up. I played both cricket and football to a good level, and loved the opportunities that these sports gave me to develop myself both as a player and a person. I’ve always known that I wanted to work within sport, to help provide people with the same opportunity I had, and give back to the game as a whole. My passion for women’s football grew whilst volunteering for my local CFA when I was 14. Since then, I’ve been heavily focused on coaching, youth leadership, and football development. All of which are involved within my new role!
2. Can You Explain What Your New Role Entails?
My role involves leading on the Sport England funded Women’s Recreational Programme as part of the Host City Legacy Plans for the UEFA Women’s European Championships in 2022. My work will primarily be focused on creating and developing recreational football opportunities for women within the Southampton City boundaries, with further emphasis on engaging and inspiring those from under-represented groups. I will also be looking to grow recreational provision for not only the local community, but across the wider grassroots game, through coaching, volunteering, refereeing and leadership development.
3. What Football Roles Have You Been Involved With Before Joining Hampshire FA?
Prior to joining Hampshire FA, I completed an Undergraduate degree at the University of Chichester in Football Coaching and Performance. Whilst at University, I was President of the Women’s Football Club, and also a member of the FA National Youth Council as a Senior Engagement Officer, an ECFA Women’s Football Apprentice Mentor and a Youth Sport Trust Team Leader. I’m currently the first team coach and Chichester and Selsey Ladies.
4. What Attracted You To The Role At Hampshire FA?
Working for Hampshire FA provides a fantastic opportunity to shape the game and the way in which it is organised/delivered within the County. I was attracted to the role as I knew it would involve engaging with a range of different groups and organisations to support participation within the women’s game.
5. What Qualities Do You Bring To The Team And Hampshire FA?
I feel as though I will work well within such a dynamic team of people, and I’m looking forward to introducing some fresh ideas to existing projects to hopefully expand our women and girls’ provision within the County. I’m also excited to support the new youth leadership strategy being implemented within the near future, and bring my previous experience within this field to help develop the plans being put in place!
6. Who Are Your Role Models/Mentors?
I’ve been really lucky over the past few years to have a number of mentors supporting my development (they know who they are!). I’ve also worked with a number of female leaders within the game who have certainly inspired me to become the best version of myself. In terms of role models, I have quite a few! Emma Hayes for her unique player management and whole club philosophy, Alex Scott for challenging gender norms within the world of punditry, and Renate Blindheim for being one of the first (and youngest) female managers to work within the professional men’s game. A popular saying within the female sport industry at the moment is ‘if you see it, you can be it’. With so many female role models emerging within the game, I have no doubt that other young women will be inspired to pursue similar pathways.
7. What Are You Most Looking Forward At The Women’s Euros Next Summer?
Watching the Lionesses on home soil! With new leadership in place, and a huge depth in our squad, I’m excited to see how we progress through the competition. It’ll be great to see so many local fans at St Mary’s too, hopefully inspiring the next generation of female footballers!
8. Most Importantly, What Team Do You Support?