We are grateful to have committed and loyal volunteers at The Academy and we love it when their positive experiences with us help shape what they want to do in the future. Ronaigh is a perfect example of this.
I’ve been playing football for ages. I used to play on the Under 11s team when I was just nine years old. It was mixed football with boys and girls playing together. I think that the game with the boys is a more physical and when I started to play women’s football I found it more tactical. I’ve been playing in the Spartans women’s first team for five years - we’ve been in the quarter-finals of the cup and last year we finished the league sixth place.
For me it’s always about “how can I play more football?”. I now find myself at the academy on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday! I started volunteering with Little Miss Kickers 3 years ago when Nic (community coaching manager) invited me along. I was dead nervous at first but it’s really great to see how the girls develop their skills over time and I like to give back to the sport. I think that volunteering was one of the reasons that I chose to study PE teaching at Uni. One of my placements was with the Spartans girls under 11 team and I continue to help out now with the under 13s team. I’m finding that some of the skills that I’ve learnt on the football pitch through coaching are also really useful at University, especially time management, planning, working hard, communicating and presenting. It really has given me a lot of confidence.
I love The Academy, especially the community aspect. It’s really helped me develop as a person and as a player. I’ve met lots of new friends and I’ve found a place where I feel like I belong.
"Ronaigh is a fabulous example of now being part of the Spartans Women's team can integrate into the wider work of The Spartans Community Football Academy. She is a fabulous role model on and off the pitch. It has been and continues to be a real privilege to see her develop as a person and as a player."