Back to Season 1 Nominees
Lydia Shale is a coaching scholar at the University of Leeds, where she is coaching one of the teams in their first BUCS season. Formerly a referee and a player to a high competitive standard, Lydia developed a neurological condition when she was 14 that stopped her from being able to walk. This meant that she could no longer take part in football in the same capacity, and had to look for new avenues. As a result of this, she completed her Level 1 coaching course and has just been accepted onto the UEFA C course. Her disability led her to set up ‘Rehabilitation Football’ sessions with Durham FA; the purpose of these sessions was to create a safe space for injured footballers to gradually ease their way back to their usual level of play, while reducing their risk of re-injury. Alongside this, Lydia is currently in her second season on the FA National Youth Council, where she is Communications Lead. This team works towards ensuring “all youth leaders have meaningful opportunities to develop themselves and positively impact the football community”. Inclusivity and accessibility for football is something that drives Lydia to create more opportunities for younger people in sport- especially girls wanting to get into the female pathway.
Reason for nomination:
Lydia invests a huge amount of her time in her football community both locally but also nationally. She is incredibly inspiring to those around her and is always trying to improve her coaching and develop personally. Lydia is someone who always considers those around her and makes sure they feel included. She is able to create a space to make those in her team feel like they belong in football. Lydia has ambitions of progressing in her coaching journey and I think this would be a fantastic space for her to do this and meet with likeminded people.