Sadie’s road to being named a Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’
Sadie Ashby has been involved in Albion in the Community’s Premier League Kicks programme since she was 11 years old.
15 years on, she has now been recognised as a ‘local legend’ as part of the Premier League’s anniversary celebration of this flagship programme.
Albion in the Community (AITC) has been working with the Premier League to deliver the Premier League Kicks programme in local communities throughout Sussex over the past 15 years.
Joining with football clubs up and down the country, the programme inspires children and young people to achieve their potential and improve their wellbeing, working together to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.
As part of the 15th anniversary celebrations, clubs across the country nominated a Premier League Kicks ‘Local Legend’ – somebody who has taken part in, volunteered, or worked on the programme and has inspired others through their dedication, work ethic and own personal development.
Sadie Ashby – Local Legend
Sadie Ashby was chosen as a Local Legend because she has been with the programme since its beginning, 15 years ago in Moulsecoomb.
Since then, Sadie has grown from an 11-year-old participant into a coach who now leads the sessions that she used to attend in Brighton.
Sadie explained what it has meant for her to be involved in the Kicks programme for all these years: “It’s amazing to still be involved in Kicks 15 years later as I am personally attached to the programme and can see how it has positively impacted me and others.
“The opportunities I have been given through Kicks have been memorable and I can’t imagine what would have happened without these opportunities and experiences.”
AITC began its Premier League Kicks delivery in 2007 and since then has hosted 10,000 Kicks sessions and engaged a total of 15,500 participants.
Sessions take place every week in high-need areas in Bognor Regis, Brighton, Burgess Hill, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Hailsham, Haywards Heath and Worthing.
The programme includes weekly football activity in community venues alongside workshops on a variety of social issues, enabling young people to openly discuss topics that affect them, like equality, diversity and inclusion and combatting youth crime.
Sadie believes that Kicks is an important outlet for local kids: “It provides a safe and supportive space for young people to socialise which is an alternative to anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“We have lots of young people at Kicks that often start with only a small interest in football but engage regularly because of the relaxed environment that we provide. It also provides young people with a place to burn off steam and energy through physical activity.”
It’s important for young people to have female role models at their sessions as I believe you have to see it to believe it.
Sadie is a real role model for other young girls, showing how women can progress and be involved in football across our communities.
Sadie explains: “It’s important for young people to have female role models at their sessions as I believe you have to see it to believe it.
“To be able to see females in football can help to inspire other young females to get involved in football, whether that’s just as a participant or getting involved in other aspects of the games such as coaching or refereeing.
“I also believe its really important for young males to see female coaches in football as it helps to create a level of respect and break down the stereotypes that can pushed onto young people within football.”
To find out more about the work of AITC visit: www.albioninthecommunity.org.uk