Ashana's Story - PL Kicks
Sixteen-year-old Ashana is representing Palace at the Premier League Kicks Cup after impressing coaches as a volunteer.
The Premier League Kicks Cup is a national football festival that allows us to celebrate and award some of our participants and recognise their hard work, dedication and attitude towards Premier League sessions. One of those representing Palace for Life at Warwick University on Monday 8 April will be 16-year-old Ashana.
Having originally taken part in the Premier League Girls programme, Ashana started to lose interest and her love of football due to not many girls her age attending and finding herself quite a bit older than other participants. Women and Girls Development Officer and Palace Ladies player Pam McRoberts approached Ashana with the idea that she may enjoy coaching and helping out at sessions, which saw an instant change in Ashana.
Through helping to lead at the sessions, Ashana grew in confidence and developed her independence which saw her invited to help to deliver at a girls only holiday course during the October half term.
Ashana jumped at the opportunity, and impressed everyone with her input during the holiday course. She said: “It was an amazing experience, I have learned so much and it was great to support the younger girls and help them with their skills.
“Having coach Pam support me has really helped me build my confidence, as I sometimes have low self-esteem.
“The feeling of coaching younger kids and seeing the joy on their face, felt really rewarding. I haven’t loved doing something like this so much in my life and I defiantly want to do more holiday courses in the future”.
Since then, Ashana has continued to grow and is not only a reliable and helpful presence at the Premier League Girls sessions, but her school, Sydenham, have also noticed a difference in her.
Sydenham’s PE Teacher, Miss Griffiths said: “Ashana has shown lots of enthusiasm at school, delivering assemblies to other year groups encouraging them to come and attend football, helping out coach Pam at events and being more responsible around school. Her behaviour has changed dramatically.”
At Palace for Life we were delighted to be able to put Ashana on her FA Level One course, where she’s well on the way to improving her coaching and having an even greater impact on the Palace for Life Girls programmes. With the Kicks Cup, her FA Level One course and GCSE’s coming up, it’s going to be a busy few months for Ashana!
The Premier League Girls programme isn’t only focused on increasing participation, but to find girls a place in the game in all capacities. At Palace for Life we’re proud to have such a path for girls who want to volunteer or coach, and through running our own girls only FA Level one courses, we can continue to provide plenty of volunteering and coaching opportunities.
To find out more about our Women and Girls programmes click here.