My experience of studying and working as a female in sport
Growing up, I was very sporty and very active. I was in every team in school, boys and girls teams, and football was my main passion. That was the route I wanted to go down.
Unfortunately, especially in North Wales at that time, we're talking about 18 years ago now, there weren't a lot of opportunities for female football. Completely different story to nowadays where there are a lot of opportunities.
At the age of 14, I got very unwell, I never recovered and I got diagnosed with CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.] It kind of feels like you lose your identity a little bit because you can no longer compete in sports, you can no longer be active. And I was bedridden for quite a few years with it.
You just learn to pace and manage to live with it. I was in and out of careers during that time. I'd get ill, quit, get better, and then go into another career, but nothing stable, nothing secure. And then I saw an Easter football college at Wrexham University.
Leaving your comfort zone
So I thought, yeah, I'm going to go for that and give it a go!
I went along and it was advertising for a university degree, which the lecturer spoke to me about afterwards. And I thought, no, I can't do that. I didn't go to college, I can't go to university. But, it turned out amazingly. I had brilliant support, especially with my health and the lecturers were incredible, I applied for the Football Coaching Performance Specialist degree and was successful!
Landing the dream role
I now work for FAW [Football Association of Wales] as a Girl's Participation Coordinator after completing my year-long internship with them. I lead the day-to-day running of the UEFA Disney Playmakers programme, which is a programme that's been implemented throughout Wales for girls aged five to eight in primary schools and it's very innovative and brilliant to work on.
I help kids learn to play football through storytelling and the magic of Disney. I also work on a project called ‘Huddle’ leading the day-to-day on that community-based programme. The aim of this is to encourage girls aged four to eleven in the community to actively play football, but in a fun female environment where there's no competition and it's not your typical training session. It's very tailored to those girls.
Following that female in sports route, I also support on other programmes such as the B-Football project and the ‘Environments for her’ programme, and many other women or girls participation projects that arise. I support those.
Studying at Wrexham University
My time at Wrexham University helped increase my confidence, especially in applying for internships and jobs in the industry.
If it wasn’t for the degree, I wouldn’t have applied for industry internships or jobs without having that
experience and knowledge in the background of that role, but also the support I received from my tutors.
We had CV writing classes, practice interviews and all that was helpful and the group work was so beneficial.
Check out our sports degrees to see where studying at Wrexham University can take you.