Girls’ Football Week profile – Kirsty Dixon
To celebrate The FA’s Girls’ Football Week, AoC Sport is running a series of profiles on a range of females from across the game.
Having spoken with Doncaster Belles midfielder Emily Simpkins yesterday, today we catch up with former Birmingham Metropolitan College student Kirsty Dixon.
Kirsty formed part of our National Student Management Team while at college and now works for Birmingham County FA as a customer support officer, and is Chair of BCFA Youth Council.
How has volunteering in football helped develop your personal and workplace skills?
I have volunteered in many different areas of football; coaching, young leaders and empowering others. This has helped me to develop as an individual and progress towards a career. Football has had a big impact on my life, allowing different personal skills to develop, such as confidence, public speaking and understanding the game.
How has your college course helped to achieve all you have within football?
The college course I completed was an Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise. This course helped me as it gave me the opportunity to understand different elements not just the playing side of football but the psychological side, anatomy and physiology, and sports injury. I was also able to volunteer at many events throughout my time at college.
What skills do you feel you gained and developed during your time National Student Management Team member?
Being a member of the NSMT was a fantastic opportunity. I was able to gain many skills such as presenting in front of a board, planning and running a national event and was also able to understand others’ points of view and transfer their skills and knowledge and adapt them to a suitable scenario of my own. Learning from others from different areas of the county was a great opportunity and they helped me to challenge myself.
What opportunities are there for females to get involved in football, outside of playing?
I feel there are many different opportunities for women to get involved in football in coaching, refereeing and leadership, however it just isn’t promoted as much and won’t interest as many women as it would men. I have been involved in both coaching and leadership in football. As I was interested in doing this I found the opportunities for me to develop – not all were on my doorstep however I was keen to learn and develop so found these opportunities.
What advice would you give to females wanting to get involved in a similar capacity to yourself?
The advice I would provide any female interested in getting involved in football would be to be persistent. If you’re interested and want the opportunity to develop you need to be prepared to work for it and look for them. Not every opportunity is straight forwards and some will challenge you, but the effort and hard work you put in you will get back with skills and development.
What did your college gain from having you as a member of NSMT?
When being part of the NSMT there was another member of the college on the team as well as myself. Due to this we were able to implement new and exciting experiences to the college and allow more individuals to be involved in football at the college. This also then set an example for those aspiring to be part of the NSMT.
What was your proudest achievement as part of the NSMT?
My proudest achievement of NSMT was when I and the rest of my team presented a national idea to a board of FA staff. This was a challenging experience for myself as it involved many areas that I found difficult, like presenting and public speaking. As this was to put forward an idea of a national event it had to be influential and beneficial, therefore we needed to be persuasive and enthusiastic. This was a great experience for myself.
How important is it to your students that the college is able to offer football for all abilities?
Football is an all-rounded sport and it is really important that all abilities are involved in it. At the college we had many students of different ages and abilities and therefore the opportunity needed to be provided for them to get involved in the sport and enjoy it as much as anyone else, whether that is competitive or just for the fun element, it is important the opportunity is there. Many initiatives such as Team Nineteen and Mash-Up sessions were run to include all students in football.