Today we say goodbye to our founder, friend and football genius Katee Hui, who will coach the Laces for the last time.
Katee set up Hackney Laces in 2011 after her growing frustration at the lack of opportunities for young girls to play football. Now, over 100 girls have benefited from her coaching, as well as her determination to provide them with as many opportunities as possible.
Over the past three years, Hackney Laces has transformed from just a handful girls turning up for training, to the formidable unit that we are today. The club may have grown massively in both player numbers and coaching staff, but Katee remains well and truly the matriarch. From remembering the name of every single girl who has ever turned up for training, to spending all of her free time hunting for funding of further opportunities for the girls; Katee lives and breathes Hackney Laces. Everybody involved in the club recognises how passionate, driven and caring she is, and all appreciate all her efforts and achievements.
Without Katee, we would not have enjoyed many of the special moments we have experienced as a club. We would not have felt the joy of winning games together, and the pain of losing. We would not have had the excitement of TV appearances, newspaper articles and competition wins. We would not have gone on an adventure to Barcelona. But most importantly, we would not have made many of the special friendships that have been formed at the club.
Katee is more than a coach, but a leader, a friend and an inspiration. We will miss her in so many ways. The club will go on (with plenty of input from Katee, no matter where she is in the world) and will continue the ethos and hard-work that Katee has so lovingly instilled.
Good luck Katee in your new adventure. We are so proud and grateful for everything you have achieved. Thank you for persevering with your vision, and getting so many other people to see it too. We will miss your friendly face, your great advice, and your infectious enthusiasm. We will miss you running back to cover defence when nobody else has any legs left. We will miss your friendship and loyalty. We will miss you more than you will ever know.