Rachael is one of the first to work her way through the player and coaching pathway with Morton Community.
Rachael’s journey in football began in 2007 whilst at Stephen’s High School she attended a 6-week block, which then continued into attending community sessions. In 2008, she began competing in a 7 aside league with Port Glasgow Junior Girls. Rachael spent 7 years with Port Glasgow before joining Morton Girls in 2014.
Rachael, now 19, commented: “From the beginning of my football journey I was encouraged by Leeanne McPhail and Gary Forbes. They provided me with many opportunities to develop as a player and progress on to competing at a higher and more competitive level. Leeanne and Gary both continue to support me to this day.”
Rachael has now progressed into the Morton first team and benefits from on and off field support and guidance from our Morton Girls Project Worker, Laura Williamson.
In 2015 Morton Community wrote to the Sport Relief Home and Away Fund securing £2,715 to develop our then under 17s girls team into becoming volunteers and role models. Thus beginning life on the Morton Community coaching pathway.
Rachael, fellow team mates and friends benefitted from SFA Youth qualifications at level 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and Sports First Aid.
Rachael added: “I love watching all the kids having fun, seeing them develop more skills and progressing every week. I love coaching as it has allowed me to develop many skills and qualities, such as confidence. I have been able to transfer this as a player onto the pitch.”
Rachael balances volunteering with Morton Community, playing with the Morton first team and studying Sports Coaching at University of West of Scotland.
We held a short question and answer session with Rachael:
Q: Why do you think it is important for our young Morton Girls players to have female coaches/role models?
A: “It gives our young players someone to look up to and aspire to which in turn encourages them to continue to play football allowing the game to grow and develop. Since I started playing I have had both male and female role models and they not only developed me as a player but also taught me life skills and encouraged me to be a good person.”
Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give an 8-year-old starting their journey with Morton Girls?
A: “The best piece of advice I would give is to work hard and be committed and you will go far. Take advantage of all the opportunities that Morton Girls offer, and never be afraid to make mistakes. Every mistake is a lesson and that is what makes you a better player. Most importantly I would encourage them to enjoy their football.”
Prior to securing funding from Sport Relief Home and Away fund 66% of coaches in Morton Girls were male and 25% were aged under 24. 55% of coaches in Morton Girls are now female and 55% are aged under 24. This is the positive swing we wanted to create. In 2016 we engaged 62 participants in girls’ only sessions. Morton Girls grew from 82 players to 97 and we are seeing more and more girls participating at Mini and Micro Morton.
We believe young female volunteers like Rachael will help Morton Girls grow from strength to strength.
Get involved in girls only football sessions: http://mortoncommunity.net/communityfootbal/girls-only/
For further information on girls football at Morton Community get in touch with Laura Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org