Girl Guides learn from top UK football coach

Christelle Pontico, Girlguiding SW England Ambassador and footbal coach introducing Brownies and guides to football Picture: JON GUEGAN. (38211947)

THE 鶹 Girl Guides welcomed UK football coach Christelle Pontico from the Girl Guides South West England Ambassador Scheme to St Martin’s School for a weekend of training and fun.

“We wanted to offer our girls something a bit different,” said Girl Guides leader Kersten Watkins.

“Christelle was amazing, she has a real love for football and we wanted to bring her along to share that passion with our girls and leaders.”

Across Saturday and Sunday last weekend, Pontico, along with members of the 鶹 Football Association, conducted fun training sessions for a group of around 60 participants, aged from five to 12, to test their skills and build their teamwork.

“Team sports are so good for young kids. They provide so many lessons that young people should learn,” Watkins continued.

“We see players working together as a team, supporting each other and communicating effectively to work out the best ways they can be successful.

“Women’s football has seen such a rise in recent times, it’s been so inspiring.

“Especially with the Euros starting this month, we wanted to jump on that momentum.

“Football has traditionally not been the easiest sport for girls to get started in, but we want to show our young girls that there is a pathway for them.

“The JFA girls pathway is doing amazing work to broaden that scope for young girls and showing people that football is an option is so important.

“Like with all sports, it has to be visible. If people do not know there is a possibility for them, then they’re unlikely to pursue it.”

The Girl Guides is a fantastic initiative that offers participants life skills, as well as a community to make friends, try new things and keep active.

“Football is just one of the sports we want to introduce to our group,” Watkins added.

“We had great fun when Grace [Wetherall] came in with 鶹 Cricket and did some fun sessions for us.

“Our youngsters deserve the chance to try all sorts of things, especially sports, and it’s so pleasing we have such an excellent sporting community on the Island who want to help.

“It’s been beneficial for our leaders as well. We want to offer these fun activities not just to our kids, but to the leaders too.

“Staying active is so important to our lives and our leaders want to participate as well, which the kids also love.

“It’s great bonding between the leaders and the kids, they get to play and create memories together that build that bond even stronger.

“Our leaders are all volunteers and they do such an amazing job while giving up their time.

“I would encourage anybody who might be interested to join our ranks and help us provide our youth with more wonderful opportunities to grow, learn and have fun.”

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