Coach trip for Arsenal ace Leah

Defender visits Indonesia as club back new football programme for young girls

Thursday, 17th October 2019

Leah Williamson

Leah Williamson helps launch the Coaching for Life programme in Jakarta

ARSENAL and England defender Leah Williamson says travelling to Indonesia to show her support for a new coaching project is the “most humbling moment” of her career.

The 22-year-old celebrated International Day of the Girl on Friday by launching Coaching for Life, a programme that has seen Arsenal team up with Save the Children to protect youngsters in Jordan and Indonesia affected by violence, conflict and poverty.

Williamson visited Jakarta to experience first-hand the challenges facing young girls there and learn how the new football coaching initiative, funded by the Arsenal Foundation, is empowering them to tackle issues such as having to work from a young age to provide for their families, child marriage and pregnancy.

“I’ve been at Arsenal since I was nine and always known about our place and role in our community,” said Williamson. “It’s in our DNA. We all understand it’s a privilege to use the power of the club to do good. When you apply it in a really special way it can be used to achieve brilliant things.

“Whether you’re growing up in London, Jordan or Jakarta, football has the power to bring people together and offer a lifeline.”

Reflecting on the goals behind Coaching for Life, Williamson added: “The main idea of it is to help young girls, and boys, develop life skills, social skills and deal with their emotions, as well as confidence-boosting and resilience training, and to get a little bit of care and support.

“It was probably the most humbling thing I have ever done, and also one of the hardest things.

“You go there for a few days and then you leave and you trust the programme you leave behind is going to help, and you wish you could do more. I have not taken for granted even a minute of football since I have come back.”

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