The East Riding FA Unsung Hero of the Month award recognizes those individuals in our county who are going above and beyond to create a fun, safe, and inclusive environment for people to play and enjoy football.
We know that grassroots football in our county is supported by an amazing group of volunteers who put their heart and soul into supporting the game for the benefit of others. This award is our way of recognizing and celebrating their efforts.
The winner of this month’s award is Leah Wise from Kingswood United.
Leah is credited with helping ensure that girls in our area are able to participate in grassroots football for the very first time through the FA Weetabix Wildcats'
Leah has played an integral role in giving over 30 girls the opportunity to participate in football and she has inspired an army of volunteers to dedicate their time to supporting the growth of female football.
When asked what has inspired Leah to dedicate so much time to giving girls the opportunity play football she said; "I became inducted into coaching through my youngest son who wanted to learn how to play. When coaching his team though I often wondered about the lack of girls wanting to play and then realised that this wasn’t the case at all. It was actually as a result of a lack of opportunity. So when I moved over to Kingswood Utd and heard they needed a coach for their Weetabix Wildcat’s Centre, it just felt like something I could really get my teeth into."
Not only has Leah provided an opportunity for girls to play football but she has also managed to get parents involved in the sessions as well. Leah said; " I call our parents, kids and coaches our Wildcats family, and I do feel that this is what we have achieved over the last year. I make the sessions a social event every week. We chat, we laugh a lot and the parents see how happy their girls are. Over time, I gradually chipped away at people who showed interest and put the questions out there; Who would be willing to help? Does anyone want to come and join the coaching team? If I can, you can."
Leah is one of many individuals in East Riding who gives up her time for grassroots football and she thinks more people should get involved; "I think most would agree that life is short. We get bogged down with the mundane features of the working week, and this is something different. This is you being rewarded for giving something back to your community. For me, rewards come in the shape of happy children, memories and appreciation. Coaching football has a positive effect, even on those days when you feel too tired. You come home buzzing, endorphins all over the place and it gives you a real boost."
When asked what is the most pleasing aspect about Weetabix Wildcats Leah said It sounds like a cliché and my answer won’t fully represent how I am truly feeling, but the rewards we get as coaches for Wildcats are huge. The girls are SO engaging, they love the sessions and natter all week to their parents asking if Wednesday can hurry up. We provide them with items of kit with the logo on, which are funded via their subs, and they wear them outside of Wildcats too! Me and the team create these sessions with an idea in our minds, but it’s the girls that make them happen. Without their energy and passion, we wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful."
If you would like to find out more information about Weetabix Wildcats and would like to find our where sessions are held in our county then please CLICK HERE.
If know someone who deserves recognition for their contribution to grassroots football then please click here and nominate them for next months award.