Student realises dream on TVPosted: 7th June 2021
A young footballer’s dreams of becoming a coach came true on national television.
Rebecca Hunt, Year 11 student at Royal Docks Academy, featured in BT Sport mini-series Watch Us Rise.
The show followed a group of young women who love football and the struggles they had to navigate as they pursue their footballing dreams.
Rebecca was given an insight into the world of football coaching by taking the BT Playmaker football course by England Football, teaching ten classmates from Royal Docks.
The student, whose beloved grandfather died during the pandemic, said: “I was playing football in primary school, but the girls’ team was on and off. My family are into football, so it was always on the television. From there, it was what I wanted to do, to become a coach.
“There are not many opportunities for women my age in this area; it is more dedicated to male players. It can be difficult for women to find a team dedicated to their needs.
“My grandad, who I lived with, was my main supporter in my football journey. I spoke on the programme about how his death last summer affected my dedication to sport. My nan was so happy about the programme – within three seconds of telling her about it, everyone knew!”
At Royal Docks, Rebecca has been fully engaged in the extra-curricular sport programme, where football takes centre stage.
She has played in the girls team from Year 7 to 11, captaining the team in a number of fixtures.
During regular training sessions at school, Rebecca has been able to work on improving tactical and technical aspects of her game.
The school’s unique partnership with Goals 4 Girls has also helped Rebecca, who has been part of the scheme since joining the school, with her interpersonal, communication and leadership skills.
PE teacher Tom Woolsgrove, who was interviewed for the programme, said: “Rebecca comes from an inner-city background where she may not have had access to the same opportunities other young people from different walks of life might have had in the past. She has had to put in the extra work to realise her ambitions.
“Things have not been easy for Rebecca; it has been a difficult pathway. She has faced the typical financial hurdles of a lack of technology to help her to study during lockdown. What people might take for granted, she has not had in life.
“But, she is a fantastic student who has been playing for the school football team since Year 7. She is fantastically focused on work and has a great attitude towards football and school. Football has been an escape from any difficulties she has had; it has given her confidence, developed her communication skills and helped her to work with other people. She has learned a lot of skills, such as rising to challenges, which have boosted her confidence and that has shown through in the classroom. That is the power of sport.
“All the skills she has learnt through football are the ones you need to succeed in life – winning and losing, working together. They will help her to achieve whatever she wants to.
“Rebecca is inspiring other young girls not to give up on their dreams by showing there are opportunities in sport for girls to be successful.”