Football has the power to inspire and transform lives, not only on the field but also behind the scenes. Sarah White, an individual deeply connected to the game, shares her remarkable journey and her involvement with the Women’s Leadership program. From her initial introduction to football through family ties to her current role at Hunter Valley Football, Sarah's story exemplifies the passion and dedication that fuels her desire to make a positive impact in the game.
Starting to Play and what led to a Journey Into Leadership
Sarah's connection with football began through her family's involvement in the sport. Inspired by her older brother's participation, her parents took on committee positions in a local club, fostering a deep-rooted love for the game within their household. Sarah's exposure to football from an early age piqued her interest, and she started playing on the sidelines and at school. However, it wasn't until the age of 15 that she made the decision to join an open/senior women's team, as there were no junior girls' teams available at her club at the time.
Sarah says, “My passion for football continued to grow as I moved to the Hunter Valley region in 2009. Initially, I joined my local club as a player without taking on any official role. However, an opportunity arose in 2014 when a position opened up at Hunter Valley Football. I jumped at the chance and was fortunate enough to be offered the position, which enabled me to work full-time in football. Over the past nine years, I have been mentored by influential individuals and worked alongside remarkable colleagues which led to fueling my love for the game and inspired me to look into roles where I could give back to my community.”
Love for Football and Lessons Learned:
Sarah cherishes the sense of camaraderie and the opportunity to learn various aspects of the game. Her tenure as a club secretary in Brisbane for a decade granted her valuable insights into the behind-the-scenes operations of a club and the dedication of countless volunteers. Sarah believes that her upbringing around the game, coupled with her experience as a player and volunteer, has prepared her to fulfill her current employment role effectively.
The Women’s Leadership Program Scholarship:
Sarah's commitment to making a positive difference within the football community led her to apply for a scholarship to attend the Women’s Leadership Program. Through this program, she aims to enhance her leadership skills and engage with like-minded women in the game. Sarah sees this opportunity as a chance to develop personally and professionally, fostering new relationships and acquiring fresh perspectives to positively influence the football community.
“Through the Women’s Leadership Program, I hope to gain new insights and skills in communication, influencing change, and maximising my current role's impact within the football community. I recognise that effective leadership and decision-making are crucial for driving positive change and creating a supportive environment for all involved, and ultimately I’m looking to better myself and my community by enrolling in the program.” White says.
Personal Growth from the Course:
Reflecting on her participation in the Women’s Leadership Program, Sarah has discovered the importance of self-care and reducing unnecessary pressure on herself. The course has taught her to prioritise her well-being and embrace a healthier work-life balance.
Sarah White's journey in football and her involvement with the Women’s Leadership Program exemplify the power of passion and dedication in creating positive change. Her deep-rooted connection to the game, combined with her desire to make a difference, drives her to enhance her leadership skills and contribute to the growth of the football community. Through her journey, Sarah inspires others to embrace opportunities for personal and professional growth, empowering them to unlock their full potential and leave a lasting impact.
The Women’s Leadership Program is part of the NSW Football Legacy Program - a $10 million investment from the NSW Government. The program seeks to support female football through new community facilities, participation initiatives, development programs as well as tourism and international engagement.
More information about the NSW Football Legacy Fund is available here.
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