International Women’s Day: a spotlight on FA Women’s Football Apprentice Maddy Ubee
AoC Sport is delighted to be supporting International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.
#Balanceforbetter is about creating a gender-balanced world so we thought we would highlight the work we are doing to help promote women’s football across the country.
The week also coincides with Women’s Football Week and National Apprenticeship Week.
Women’s Football Week is a great opportunity to get women and girls playing football at college.
The national campaign will help The FA achieve its aim to double participation by 2020. Whether it be playing, training or simply learning about the beautiful game we want as many girls as possible taking part and having fun.
We took the opportunity to speak about this with our FA Women’s Football Apprentice MADDY UBEE.
Maddy (pictured) is 24 and studying Level 3 in physical education (primary) at Nottingham College.
Maddy started playing football when she was four years old at her local club Grasshoppers in Kent. When she was nine she was told she couldn’t play because she was a girl. So she stopped playing for a couple of years but joined another club at the age of 12 and spent four years there.
She set up two girls football teams at Hythe FC for under 9s and under 11s – recruiting, coaching and managing the sides for a year.
Maddy puts on fun football sessions at her college as well as local primary schools, highlighting the important link apprentices can make between the college and the local community.
“It’s not just about getting college students involved, it’s about building relationships with schools and communities. It’s important to introduce younger generations to football because in 20 years, they’re going to be the future of the game.
“The amount of support and opportunity that’s out there for young girls makes me a bit jealous because it was nothing like that when I was growing up.”
“My biggest enjoyment is working with the Special Educational Needs students. They have a completely different view of life. I love the fact that when I turn up they are all so happy to be there.
“They’re really enthusiastic and will try anything to get involved. They have their own struggles but it doesn’t define them. It’s nice to know that we’re doing something to help others.”
“I had no idea that these roles existed. I’ve always loved football and I’ve always been interested in getting more girls involved so being an FA Women’s Football Apprentice seemed like a really good fit.
“It’s had its ups and downs and it’s been very challenging. It’s really helped me get out of my comfort zone and figure out what I want to do with my life.
“The staff who are involved at AoC Sport are obviously pushing for you to become a better person. It’s really good because they obviously care about what they do and the welfare of the apprentices.
“It’s such a big learning curve. It’s a lot of hard work but the rewards are impressive. You feel like a better person by doing this apprenticeship.
International Women’s Day
“My role model is Karen Brady because she was the first female to be successful in the football industry. I think she’s done really well to dodge all the obstacles in her way.
“It’s been really hard for her to get to where she is. She’s fought for everything that she’s got and I like that quality.”
Find out more about AoC Sport’s FA Women’s Football Apprentice programme.