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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
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1 hour ago

Visit https://t.co/R2qOJZaVmi to book onto this evening's FREE Women's and Girls Coach Development Event at… https://t.co/ROhPdDafr4

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RT @FoL_Beacon: Our indoor 7 aside 4G is perfect for a casual kickabout, team training, leagues and tournaments. It also has this amazing v…

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RT @julioarcaOK: Thanks very much to everyone that toke the time and sent money to the @SAFCFoL to sponsor me for the cycle ride 👍

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We have lots of fun sports activities for youngsters going on this #HalfTerm, including #Football Courses,… https://t.co/mjIRpDSWOq

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#SAFC mascot Samson has been to Highfield Community Primary School this morning delivering sports equipment as part… https://t.co/OKCpFmqHNB

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There's still time to book on this evening's FREE Women's and Girls Coach Development Event at @NorthumbriaUni 6-9p… https://t.co/1rW89u9lrO

May 18

RT @SunderlandAFC: 📺 Watch as Sir Bob Murray visits the now completed Beacon of Light ahead of its June opening... https://t.co/bEnEzhmFF0

May 18

RT @FoL_Beacon: Excited at the prospect of hosting our first ever @SAFCFoL holiday course. It will be a 2 day course on Tues 29th May and W…

May 18

Entries for the Foundation of Light and @DurhamFA Women's #Futsal Tournament at the @FoL_Beacon close on Monday! I… https://t.co/SYnrWd733j

May 18

To find out more about our #EarlyYears provision, which includes #LittleDribblers and #FootyPhonics, call 0191 5515… https://t.co/esCdb1IcaY

May 18

Sport and Play Delivery Coach Nathan explains more about today’s #EarlyYears Conference and how our specialist prog… https://t.co/jvNK6zbG2m

May 18

RT @FA_PEnorth: Pleasure to support @RyDavies33 @andydobby89 in the North East today with L3 PESS course delivery! @NU_Foundation @HUCSF @M

May 18

THANK YOU to all the schools, academies and nurseries who attended our #EarlyYears Conference at the @FoL_Beacon to… https://t.co/yLqkvCn5bQ

May 18

"The @FoL_Beacon is the best in Britain. It just so happens to be in #Sunderland." @SunderlandAFC talk to Sir Bob… https://t.co/wCnYofFgPl

May 18

RT @Tolentplc: An Interview w/ Sir Bob Murray after the completion of the Beacon of Light. One of our greatest projects to date! @TheBoLSch

May 18

Our first #EarlyYears Conference is underway at the @FoL_Beacon with coach Nathan explaining how our programmes can… https://t.co/YSGZdBNpsW

May 18

RT @BringItOnNE: Bring it On returns again to welcome thousands of 9-14 year old's with the aim of inspiring and making engineering excitin…

May 17

RT @FoLScholars: Great to see national recognition for local talent from @SAFCFoL @SunderlandAFC @sunechosafc #pathways #opportunities @Sth

May 17

RT @FoLScholars: Congratulations to Aaron Thompson, Josh King, Lewis King, Kieron Parnaby, Cieran Jackson, Dane Eltringham and Alex Ramshaw…

Foundation lights pathway for young footballer

12 November 2017

Foundation of Light’s Player Pathway is helping an aspiring footballer take her first steps in the professional game.

Victoria Curtis, 16, has featured for FA Women’s Premier League side Newcastle United Women’s FC this season as well as representing the charity’s Football Scholarship Ladies.

The youngster began her football journey with Foundation of Light’s Community Clubs which offer players the chance to become part of a team, train weekly and play in organised competition as part of the Russell Foster Youth League.

“I’ve always liked football from a young age,” says Victoria. “It was actually my grandad’s next-door neighbour who told me about SAFC Foundation Whites so I went along to training started playing for them when I was seven.

“I was competing against boys but didn’t find it that physical or different really. It wasn’t until I started playing girls football that I realised it did give me an advantage.”

Victoria unsuccessfully trialled for the Sunderland and Gateshead Regional Talent Club which gave her extra motivation to develop her game.

She adds: “I went back to the Foundation Whites and tried to improve myself as a player. I was more defensive and they were looking for someone who was more rounded.

“Training with my team helped massively and when I returned to the RTC trials the following year I got in.”

Then 12-years-old, Victoria found the regular coaching and games challenging but enjoyed her five years with the RTC at Gateshead’s Academy for Sport.

Victoria says: “It was really good, the training was a big step up and obviously we were playing against other elite teams. I enjoyed my time there.”

Looking for opportunities within football after graduating from the RTC, Victoria trialled for Newcastle United Women’s FC, making her first-team debut earlier this season and joining Foundation of Light’s Football Scholarship programme.

“After leaving the RTC I trialled for Newcastle United Women,” she adds. “I’ve played for the first team in the FA Women’s Premier League and I’m really enjoying it.”

“My RTC coach Steve emailed me about the Scholarship programme and I came down for trials. It’s been a great experience so far. We’ve had some great results.

“I’m studying A Levels in Biology, Psychology and PE at Monkwearmouth Sixth Form Academy as well as playing for Newcastle and the Scholars. I’ve found balancing my studies and football easy to be fair.”

Victoria is a great example of our Player Pathway as she’s come through from the Foundation’s Community Clubs to the RTC and then our Football Scholarship.

We’re extremely proud of what she has achieved so far.

Steve McClarence, Foundation of Light Ladies' Scholars coach

The Football Scholarship gives 16-18 year olds the opportunity to represent Sunderland AFC in national competition and gain qualifications through an intensive football and education programme.

Steve adds: “We found when girls were leaving the RTC it was too big a jump to go from under 16s football to a ladies’ first-team. The Scholarship now bridges that gap and gives players an extra two years of development which will help them find clubs when they are ready.

“We have a number of exit routes through the Scholarship with a lot of the boys and girls interested in American scholarships.

“There is also the option to go to universities, into apprenticeships or employment if they aren’t successful in football or decide they don’t want to pursue a career in the game.”

For more information about the Foundation Football Scholarship programme, email wayne.walls@foundationoflight.co.uk or call 0191 5515191.

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