Kent’s Young Leaders Attend FA Leadership Academy!
Kent FA was delighted to contribute to the annual FA Leadership Academy hosted at St George’s Park.
Our Youth Council members Kat and Jasmine attended the world class leadership event as young leaders, former Youth Council member Toby Elgar graduated from the class of 2018 and Equality and Inclusion staff member, Jess Jones, attended as a member of the FA National Game Youth Council.
Well, where do I even start, if I’m being honest, I don’t think any type of article could actually sum up the experiences gained from the week at St George’s Park for The FA Leadership Academy (FALA) but I will sure make an attempt! Myself and Katana Gould were joined, quite nervously at the start, with 58 other young leaders from a total of 13 different countries worldwide for 1 life changing week. By the end of the week, our nervous selves were just in the past, as we developed as people and as leaders, forming everlasting connections with each of the young leaders from different counties within the UK and internationally.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from the Leadership Academy, but any expectations I did have were certainly exceeded. From the moment myself and Kat arrived, we were welcomed and comforted by the National Youth Council members and the Mentors. I had a sense that the upcoming week was going to be positively intense just from the excitement that was radiating from each member of the team who had been in our exact position at one point too, but I could never have guessed the scale of development I had seen in myself and others around me by the end of the week.
For me, what I loved the most was that every single person had the same mindset as me, the want to develop and improve on our inner leaders and ourselves generally; I haven’t been in many situations like that before. I was constantly inspired, enlightened and motivated every day throughout every workshop and in the people I had met, including fellow young leaders, they have definitely aspired me into becoming better, using the right tools to take any opportunities that arise that can help the community. I honestly loved each workshop I was involved in, but if I had to pick an absolute favourite then I think for me it would be the ‘Personal Leadership Philosophy’ workshop, where we talked about our values as individuals, and as leaders.
As Greg Clarke, current Chairman of the FA stated on our introduction to the week, “The old cannot change football”, and I believe it is at utmost importance that we focus on the views, opinions and developments of the youth within the world and within the world of football to really make some positive differences as we are the ones that will be living through the choices made. The FA Leadership Academy really highlights that, showing that we may not have many experiences yet in numbers, but we have the greatly significant experience of being a ‘youth’ in today’s climate. FALA is truly an amazing opportunity which I would love to get every youth leader to attend, with the chance to network internationally and in the end, come away with some genuinely great friends that I believe I will stay in contact with for life.
The work shop with Selena really made me evaluate not only others but my own values and attitude. She and Roya taught us that “the way you think about failure will determine yours and others behaviour, outlook and mental attitude”. Also that failure is YOUR success.. I really enjoyed learning about Royas PLP ( Personal Leadership philosophy) and reasoning behind each aspect.
One person that impacted me was Roya, her positivity, engagement, humour and open mindset allowed me to see that my age isn’t a boundary as long as you have the right mindset and motivation.
Throughout the week I learnt a lot about how to present yourself during introductions, how to be the best you, four burners, SHED etc. I learnt that first impressions go a long way when making a lasting one, I learnt that connection, communication and conversation is a huge part of leadership and it can be transferred many different ways such as via social media, in person, sign language, brail, physical gestures and many more.
Last but not least we learnt that leadership is an action not a position, you have to take steps to be successful after all “it’s not what someone says or what they do, it’s how they make you feel”.
For more information about Youth Leadership, please contact Luke Baker (Football Development Officer) on Luke.Baker@KentFA.com.