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I've always been a football fan since a kid, growing up an ardent Sheffield united fan. However, I didn't get the opportunity to play when I was young, and then as the years went by found myself getting into cycling and bike racing, which I did for over a decade. After a bad crash at age 35, I decided I didn't want to cycle anymore and wanted to give playing football a go, being inspired watching the 2019 women's world cup in France. Basically, I had no idea about playing or teams, so my gateway in was the amazing Footy Addicts women's games. Here I made a good group of friends of similar age, and played a whole lot to try and fast track some decent football skills! (stills working on that haha) Fast forward to today, and I play regular 11 a side with the ladies football academy based in Clapham, and just re-started playing a mixed Footy Addicts game in Croydon (love it - very punishing!). I love to take photographs, so most Saturdays I can be found shooting the action at the London Women's Football League games based at Tooting (when my team isn't playing). I shot a bit for a brilliant publication which is sadly no more called Grassroots Post, and im working currently on a long form documentary project looking at the grassroots football scene. I've also spent the last couple of seasons photographing the incredible Southwark Stars disability team, and am passionate about showing football from groups such as women and those with different abilities.
Reason for nomination:
There are many photographers, and there's Gem. She has a rare ability to capture the beauty and emotional depth of the game of football. Gem is a ridiculously talented and dedicated photographer who deserves to be seen, recognised, and rewarded for her contributions to the grassroots football scene. Her work is vital in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the sport, and her images are a testament to her passion and talent. Come on, Gem!