TWO teenagers have been rewarded for the hours they put in helping others enjoy football.
Many youngsters of Georgia Selby and Max Wiseman’s age spend plenty of their time playing sport – but relatively few devote quite as much to ensuring others can enjoy it too.
Now both have had official recognition from the Sussex FA in the form of Young Leaders and Volunteers awards.
They were presented with them at the county FA’s glitzy recent community awards night when clubs and individuals from across Sussex were highlighted.
Chichester High School for Girls student Georgia, who lives in Aldwick, combines playing for Chichester City Ladies with coaching Middleton Diamonds under-14 team – that at the club where her brother and dad are involved. The 17-year-old wants to turn coaching into a career and hopes to get on a suitable course at the University of Chichester next year.
Georgia, who plays wide midfield, said: “I got into coaching about three years ago through my dad and I really enjoy it.
“Although it’s quite unusual for an under-14 boys’ team to have a female coach, they listen to me and respond to me well – it helps that they know my brother.
“I’ve also been playing for Chichester since I was 14 – I started with the girls’ teams and have come through the age ranks to play for the ladies’ first team and reserves.”
Max, 16, a St Phillip Howard pupil now at Chichester College, started his football career with Selsey Seals, a club where he now helps with coaching. He got involved with the coaching side of things in Year 9 at school and then linked up with Brighton & Hove Albion’s football in the community section.
He was selected from more than 1,000 youngsters for a place at a national coaching camp in Hereford which put him among the country’s top 100 football leaders.
Now he coaches for a variety of young teams and has been offered an FA scholarship, which will give him a mentor.
“Both my parents are level one qualified coaches so in my family, you can’t not be interested in football,” Max said. “Long-term I want to be a police officer but coaching is my passion and I love being involved to the extent I am in football development at grass-roots level.
“I want to set an example to other youngsters.”