We follow Betsie's journey from a shy Wildcats participant, to a confident, talented player for her local team.
Betsie, 10, began attending Palace for Life Wildcats sessions after showing interest in starting to play football. Her journey started in September 2020, where she joined Palace for Life Foundation after school and Saturday morning Wildcats football sessions.
From her very first session Betsie had a natural football talent, however her confidence did not match her impressive football ability where she was shy and a little hesitant to get on the ball.
Wildcats focuses not only on improving football skills, but also the development of life and interpersonal skills of participants. Betsie regularly attended the sessions throughout the Autumn term which saw both her football and her confidence develop. The sessions saw her become someone who does not shy away from helping her coach and teammates whilst showing a positive attitude and bundles of enthusiasm.
When speaking about the Wildcats sessions Betsie said: “I’ve been taught a lot of skills to help me improve and I really enjoy getting to play with my friends. My favourite part is playing matches at the end. I have learnt loads, especially better ball control and shooting. I think Charlie is a great coach and she makes the sessions fun!”
Palace for Life coach, Charlie commented: “Betsie has been a standout participant at these sessions, not only showing her great football ability, but always supporting and encouraging her teammates.
“Her attitude is outstanding, she is eager to learn and is as a great role model to others. This has even been noticed by her teammates who have elected her as Players Player for a number of weeks.”
Coach Charlie discovered that Betsie wasn’t playing for a team outside of the Palace for Life sessions and that she was enthusiastic to join one. Betsie and her mum were introduced to Caterham Pumas in December, where she has now signed as a part of their U11 team.
Sarah Wilson, manager of Caterham Pumas U11s said: “Betsie fit into our training sessions confidently and got on really well with the other girls. She has displayed good skills and obviously loves the sport. She will be a valued addition to the team.”
At the Foundation we are committed to the development of girls football and aim to provide pathways to support a players footballing journey. We are grateful to have a strong relationship with Caterham Pumas who provide an opportunity to any of our participants who want to take the next step.
Wildcats sessions are for girls of any ability aged 5-11, who want to play football in a fun, safe environment. To find out more about Palace for Life Wildcats sessions, and how to join, click here.