Back to Season 1 Nominees
Annabelle is my daughter. She's 16 and a passionate footballer and hockey player, and a life-long follower of Chelsea Women. Annabelle came out as gay when she was 14. Before then, she was quiet, shy and isolated. With hindsight, she was struggling with her sexuality, and society's expectations of her to conform to a standard that she felt deeply uncomfortable with. Today, she's a confident young women with a voice that she is prepared to use to speak up for others and defend everyone's right to be who they want to be. At school, she successfully campaigned for a change to the strict and old fashioned uniform policy to allow girls to wear trousers; she led the Student Pride community and became a role model for other students. She stands up to bullies - for herself and for others - inside and outside of school - and works tirelessly to create a culture of inclusion and acceptance. Having played football with the boys since the age of 4, she shifted to girls football when she was 10 playing for a number of local grass roots teams before finding herself at Ascot United FC & Laurel Park FC where her team won both Surrey & Bucks & Berks Girls U16 leagues, was runner up in the Surrey Cup and won the Bucks & Berks Cup. She's known for her competitive nature and physical strength on the football field. At the same time, she has excelled at hockey, and is currently participating in England Hockey's Talent Academy and plays hockey for Guildford Hockey Club Women's 2nd team, as well as for Godalming College Women & Mixed teams. But football is her first love and she is an avid supporter of Chelsea men's and women's teams, getting up to Kings Meadow and Stamford Bridge as often as she can. Fran Kirby is her inspiration from a footballing perspective because of her tenacity and work rate on the pitch, but she idolises all the Chelsea Women and follows them avidly on social media.
Reason for nomination:
Annabelle is an inspiration to young and old - as an athlete as a gay woman as an ambassador for young people She comes across as fearless and confident, but she battles with her own insecurities. Because of her tough exterior, she is not easy to praise, and rarely gets the public recognition that she deserves from coaches, teachers, and her parents. For once, an ordinary girl who works hard, deserves to get a treat.