On Friday 3rd May we were treated to an unforgettable day, the type we could all get used to- if not for the early start! At 6:30 am 25 players, bleary eyed but sharply dressed in new club tracksuits, were met by a fleet of cars at Dalston Kingland, whisking us off to one of the Barclays Spaces for Sport pitches in West London, as part of the Barclay’s Community Sports Award.
Despite the early start, the sunny morning kept the girls energy and excitement high – they even challenging each other to a hurdles race on the track before we got going with the football. This was no normal training session however, as we were soon joined by our old friend Gareth Southgate, and our new friend Chelsea and England legend Graeme Le Saux. The girls were able to fire some questions at the two players, as well as being treated to a great book of photos from the past decade of the Premier League, which they were able to get signed.
After being put though their paces and impressing the onlooking players and host of media during a match, the girls then posed for plenty of photos, something we are all becoming quite used to now!
Later that afternoon, Katee and Sarah attended the end of season awards lunch to see who had won the overall Barclays Community Sports Award for the 2012-2013 season. Manneh Elliott won the award for his 40+ years with Toxteth Tigers Basketball Programme, who play at Fernhill Sports Centre in Bootle. It was fantastic to be in the company of the other monthly winners, and hearing of their own experiences that earned them the accolades. Having the opportunity to talk to Graeme and Gareth was also great, definitely top of the list of nicest footballers we’ve ever met!
Overall, it was a brilliant day, and a fantastic experience to be recognised by Barclays for this award. Best of all, winning the award in November introduced us to Lottie, who has proven an invaluable member of the coaching staff ever since; in our eyes this makes us the luckiest winners of all!