A Wrexham Glyndwr University student has been given an exciting and rare opportunity to take up an internship with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
Laura Davies, a student on the Football Coaching and Performance Specialist degree has the chance to work with the FAW Girls Participation and Engagement Manager this summer, as she looks to a future in the sport beyond her education.
The internship will enable Laura to use the skills from her course in a practical way, adding to her experience in coaching locally and assisting with the FAW Trust Girls’ Regional Sessions.
Laura said: “My tutor and mentor Sara Hilton informed me about the internship opportunity.
“I sent my CV in and proceeded to the interview stages. I had an interview with the Head of Football Development and the Female Participation and Engagement Manager. I then received a phone call shortly after offering me the position.
“During the internship I am supporting Bethan Woolley (Female Participation and Engagement Manager) on exciting new school programmes.
“I am currently supporting the UEFA Disney Playmaker Programme in Wrexham, which is aimed at Primary Schools and incorporates storytelling and imagination into football sessions. I will also be aiding in the BE Football programme, which is aimed at Secondary Schools and develops girls’ life skills alongside football development.
“For the future I aim to remain within the football development sector and explore ways of increase female participation within Wales.”
Looking ahead long-term, Laura is laying the foundations for a career in coaching, and is set to take a significant step when she starts working towards the UEFA B Licence as part of her course this autumn.
She said: “I am studying on the Football Coaching and Performance Specialist Degree and will be progressing onto my UEFA B licence in October.
“I have coached in various local clubs and multiple age groups. I am currently supporting Chirk Youth U13’s and U6’s in my local area.
“I feel it is important to give back to your local community in whichever way possible, hopefully I can demonstrate this by helping the players and coaches moving forward. I will also be hoping to continue assisting with the FAW Trust Girls’ Regional Sessions.”
Despite the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Laura says she has thoroughly enjoyed her time at Glyndwr so far and says the connections the University has, and the support on offer, make it the place to be for anyone looking to go into football coaching.
“I feel I have been blessed with the opportunities that I have been offered during my course”, she said.
“On my foundation year I was given opportunities to attend events with the Welsh National Ladies Squad, asked to attend a press conference and Q&A with the previous Welsh manager Jayne Ludlow and to observe a national team training session.
“My first year of my degree was unusual due to the pandemic. However, the tutors and staff at the university adapted and ensured we didn’t miss out on any learning required. This helped lead to me successfully receiving this internship at the end of my first year.
“I would recommend my course to potential students as there are multiple opportunities within this degree. Not only do you receive your degree, but you also leave university with a UEFA B licence in coaching along with external opportunities offered throughout your time here.”
For more information about the Football Coaching and Performance Specialist course at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/Foundationyear/FootballCoachingandthePerformanceSpecialistfoundationyear/
Pictured: Laura Davies