As a lifelong fan of the sport, I’ve always been a strong believer that football can do a lot of good. I’ve written about how it has helped me with academic subjects in the past and have also seen it used as a universal language at an international youth event. Here’s a fantastic case study that further reinforces the power of the beautiful game.
Women’s FA Cup sponsor SSE recently launched the second of its Dads and Daughters videos, featuring 12-year-old Daisy McGregor and her father Kenny. Daisy has shared Kenny’s love for football from an early age. At six years old, she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. It was only then that they realised the difference the sport could make to her.
Kenny encouraged Daisy to join her local girls’ team, Yaxley Football Club and the rest, as they say, is history. She has since found that her symptoms – including coughing and involuntary ticks – subside while she’s playing. She has also made several friends and is clearly much more confident as a result.
Unknown to Daisy, her footballing hero Eni Aluko was to get in on the act. The Chelsea and England Lionesses striker arrived during filming to surprise Daisy and her team mates. To their delight, Eni joined in with the training session.
Success stories like this are thanks in no small part to the FA SSE Girls Football Participation Programme. More than 60 clubs benefit from this initiative, which invests in girls-only football and raises the profile of the women’s game.
You can see Daisy and Kenny’s inspirational story in the video below.
If this isn’t a major victory for football, then I don’t know what is. To employ a sporting cliché, football seems to have helped Daisy kick her condition into touch. A promising future awaits; she has already been spotted by scouts and invited for a trial at the Northampton Advanced Coaching Centre.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I think that football can be a driver for positive change. I very much hope that Amelie enjoys it as much as I do and that, should life throw anything at her, it will have the same positive effect as it has for Daisy.
The Dads and Daughters series celebrates inspirational father-daughter bonds found throughout the football world. From grass roots to the elite as seen in the story of Kelly and Bernard Smith.
SSE is one of the UK’s leading energy companies, supplying energy to around 8.21 million customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland. It became the first major sponsor of the Women’s FA Cup in 2015.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.