Why is the future female? Because talent has no gender.
Huge thanks to U-dox for producing this and including me beside such inspiring women.
Five years ago today, Hackney Laces was born. Back then we had no idea what we were doing. I knew that my neighbourhood needed a football team for the high number of teenage girls that wanted to play. And I knew that I could find some space and rally together some friends to get involved. I didn’t know that we’d be inundated with players, or that more than 90% of our players wanted to be famous as their future aspiration.
In a few short weeks, the Laces family will be saying goodbye to Alice. And that’s ok because Alice is moving on. First she’s going to America on a soccer scholarship. Then, the world is hers for the taking. Mark my words (you heard it here first) Alice is going places and where ever those places are, she’ll make them better through her compassion and her infectious energy for life and learning. There’s needs to be a stronger synonym for the word proud so I can use it here. That’s how I feel.
When Hackney Laces first began four years ago, I don’t think any of us – players, volunteers or coaches – expected for us to grow beyond Hackney. I know I didn’t. Now our sister club Limehouse Laces is taking Tower Hamlets by storm, attracting so many young women to the club and inspiring them along the way.
On July 1, 2011 I arrived home from work to find a letter on my doorstep from Unltd. The letter read “Congratulations you have been awarded a level 1 award for your project just another football club”.
This was a big day. And Each year July rolls around I think back to beginning of laces and this day. Support from Unltd meant that not only did I no longer need to self- fund football sessions for girls, it meant that someone actually believed in my idea.
This week we released Hackney Laces’s Annual report. As a community club, transparency and honesty are at the core of what we do. We have made mistakes; we’ve had incredible luck; and most importantly, we’ve learned and grown as individuals and as a club.
An annual review will never fully capture all that we do but we think it’s a good way to shed some light into how we operate. Please have a read and share. And, of course, all suggestions, comments and ideas are welcome.
Tell all your friends! The Funding Network is turning five and they’re having a party. And, I’ve just found out that Hackney Laces will be one of the three projects listed above, pitching for funding. I’m both nervous and excited and would really love to have some familiar faces in the crowd, so please do come along!