England star inspires JMU women footballers

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The JMU team with Sue Smith ©  JMU Journalism

The JMU team with Sue Smith © JMU Journalism

England’s football star Sue Smith drummed up enthusiasm for LJMU’s women’s football team when she visited them as part of an initiative encouraging young people to take part in sports earlier this week.

The 34-year-old winger helped hone players’ football skills at Everton Lifestyles on Great Homer Street.The drop-in to support LJMU’s team was part of a multi-million, lottery-funded Olympic and Paralympic initiative to give 11-25 year olds free sports coaching as well as a cost effective way to continue to play.

The Doncaster Rovers Belle star is one of Sport England’s Sporting Champions with  role to help create a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project itself, Sportivate, began in 2012 and its success has roped in exactly 357,789 youngsters since its inception.

Smith has played for England in a number FIFA Women’s World Cups and has 16 international goals under her belt. The Rainhill-born winger has also won two FA Player of the Year Awards.

She told JMU Journalism: “It’s great to be able to visit players from my local area and hopefully inspire and motivate them to either continue to play football or actually join a club. The aim is that the young lady’s will continue to enjoy and play football for years to come.”

Jayne Moleneux, the Strategic Lead for Youth at Sport England, said: “It is great to see Sue helping inspire young people taking part in Sportivate to carry on participating in a sport they may have never tried before”

While Smith added: “Sportivate is a fantastic way of getting young people into sport and that is something I am really passionate about.

“I believe that as a Sport England Sporting Champion, I can inspire everyone in attendance to raise their own aspirations of what they can achieve and motivate them to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be.”


About Owen Swift, JMU Journalism