30 June 2017

My Work Experience: Alisha Bethell

Alisha Bethell, aged 15, from Highfields School in Matlock, Derbyshire spent a week at the Women in Sport offices for work experience and writes about her passion for sport; which encouraged her to reach out for a placement with us. Alisha shares with us the role models that inspired her to play sport, as well as her work as a Sport Leader.

The earliest memories I have of doing any type of physical activity are from when I was about 3 and a half, when my mum took me to my first ballet lesson. It was a challenging experience as a youngster and 3 weeks later I decided ballet wasn’t for me. Throughout my childhood I tried lots of different sports such as; cheer-leading, gymnastics, karate and swimming – never finding one that I seemed to really love. That was until I found football. Despite being brought up in a very football mad environment I never knew playing football was an option for girls until I moved to Derbyshire, where girls football is quite a big thing.

I joined the first team I found, and quickly grew to love football, the team and my coaches. That year we won the ‘Matlock Treble’: the league, the cup and the festival of football. Although it had been an outstanding year I realised that the style of football just wasn’t for me. So, I moved to a bigger league and a bigger team, Chesterfield Town. At chesterfield, I improved drastically and although it was my first year I became a permanent starter in the back four. It was a fantastic season for us but we just narrowly missed out on top 4 in such a tough league.

I’ve always loved sport from a young age and I was always the one who wanted to try something new and I also knew when I didn’t like something. So, to choose a role model or someone who I look up to is quite hard for me. At home, it was probably my step-dad who influenced me by letting me know that you’re never too old to try something new, as at 40 he started to compete in triathlons and grew to love them. At school it was, and still is, my teacher Mrs Allen. She has inspired me to not just keep up with the physical side of sport but the leadership side of things and to get all my qualifications that would set me up in wider array of fields e.g. coaching and teaching. She is the one who has inspired me to become a teacher, and make an impact on people’s life like she has on mine.

Mrs Allen started a worldwide recognised programme at my school called Sports Leaders UK. Through this I have been able to get so many qualifications, skills and new friends. Over 3 years I have done over 130 hours of leading in lots of different sports, courses and programmes. Also, having some of the most memorable moments with my best friends. One of these was taking part in the Play Unified programme at Old Trafford in Manchester. In fact, Mrs Allen was the one who knew I was the one for the job when the Women in Sport Charity rang up and asked for a work experience placement.

Through being a Sports Leader I’ve heard little bits about the charity, but my curiosity and eagerness for equality was really what drove me to say yes to the placement. Not knowing much about Women in Sport I knew I’d learn a lot from the week I would have with them. Also, knowing that I want to do something to with sport when I grow up working with this charity would show me another side to the industry.

Out of all the thousands of famous sports people I love and watch regularly, three have had an impact on my life. The first being Steph Houghton, centre back and captain for Manchester City women’s and English National team. With over 50 caps for the national team the 2015 world cup was where she first caught my eye, she led her team to victory and got them through defeat along with showing her incredible football skills, I really took an interest to her and inspired to be in her boots.

Without a doubt, Lucy Bronze, is on my list. In my opinion, Bronze is arguably the best footballer in the UK, she can play anywhere but really shines at right back. Again, she plays for Manchester City and has over 40 caps for the national team. Her speed, skill and stamina really bring something else to the pitch.

Finally, Carli Lloyd, who is respectively; 2x Olympic gold medallist, 2015/2016 FIFA world’s best player and World Cup Champion with her national team, America. The number of medals and tournaments she has won does not bring to justice how effective and essential she is in the game. Her hat-trick in the World Cup is what made her rise to fame but after reading her book I learnt she doesn’t let it all get to her and she is down to earth.