To mark International Women’s Day, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s ambassador, Natalie Sawyer, inspired girls from the Premier League’s girls’ football session at Orleans Park Academy. A group of budding footballers met Sky Sports presenter Natalie at Orleans Park Academy yesterday. The pupils, who had just played a thrilling football match against another local team, asked Natalie about her experiences in the sports industry and what advice she could give.
Natalie, who is an ardent Brentford fan, spoke about her job at Sky Sports: “When I was growing up not many women were presenting or covering sport on TV," she said. "For me, football has always been my first love and passion, and Sky Sports have been fantastic in nurturing my career.
She also offered advice to the young girls on their future career plans and told them: “Do something you love: you need to be passionate about your career choice and enjoy what you’re doing.”
With the FA committed to doubling female participation by 2020, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has been running a successful girls’ football programme for the past five years. So far, the Trust has engaged with more than 1,000 girls through its girls’ football programme.
The event was led by the Trust’s female coach, Sharan Khroad, who said: “Natalie is a brilliant example of a woman who has achieved so much in the sports industry. Her influence definitely empowered the young girls she met – along with inspiring me as a female coach.”
Sharan has also proven herself a role model for young girls; she volunteered more than 300 community coaching hours for the Trust last year and her commitment was recognised by the Premier League who awarded her ‘Kicks Hero of the Year’ award.