Over the next week we will be covering some of the most inspirational women in the game as Durham FA come together to celebrate International Women's Day 2023. Next up is Nicola Pace from Peterlee Helford United.
Find her interview below!
What is your role within Peterlee Helford?
I am the Club Welfare Officer as well as helping the chairman with other admin jobs.
Tell us about how you got involved with Peterlee Helford?
My son has played for Helford since under 8s. The club advertised for a Club Welfare Officer just over 3 years ago. From my job in a school, I have gained a lot of safeguarding knowledge and experience over the past 18 years. Therefore, I thought I had the correct skills set to take on the challenge.
What do you enjoy about being involved with your role at Peterlee Helford?
The enjoyment for me comes from seeing the children play football with smiles on their faces. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make football an enjoyable and safe sport for all children. The smiles on their faces and seeing them playing, socialising, exercising, learning and getting fresh air is why I do this role. Knowing that you are creating the safest environment possible for children is really rewarding for me.
What is your best memory you have faced in this role?
The best memory has got to be seeing all of our teams back out playing football after COVID. After lockdowns were lifted, we worked hard within the club to implement safe practices to ensure that the children, all of the coaches, volunteers and parents could enjoy football again safely. Knowing that you had a part to play in making that possible was a great feeling.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in this role?
One of the biggest obstacle I have faced has been getting people to understand the importance of safeguarding and the procedures we have to follow in order to make football safe.
We have a very clear vison for Helford, we want to make the club the best it can possibly be and getting everyone on board can sometimes be tricky but it’s really important to not give up and keep getting the messages out there. There is such a difference from grassroots football years ago and football today. It’s really important to keep telling people the message of safeguarding.
What advice would you give to females wishing to get involved in roles within the game of football?
Go for it. It is very rewarding knowing that you are making a positive impact on the lives of children.
Its lovely to see female’s being more involved in what is usually a male dominated environment and being role models particularly for girls.