Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Stephanie Roche

Stephanie RocheParticipant in Project FUTSAL"Unfortunately I left after a year as I just wasn't fully committed to it"

I completed my leaving cert in 2007 but never really liked school. In 2009 I decided to try college and attended Sallynoggin College of Further Education on a Sports and Leisure Management course. It was a two year course but unfortunately I left after a year as again I just wasn't fully committed to it. From there I went from job to job while playing football all the time and finding it hard to get the time off I needed to play football. This caused me great distress as I was playing football for the Republic of Ireland women’s team and did need a lot of time off. 

It was by chance that I heard about Project Futsal from a local FAI Development Officer.  In my interview for the course it was made clear that education (Sport & Recreation FETAC level 5 Major Award) was the main focus of the course and that  in order to complete all of my coaching awards and play football every day I would have to first be committed to the education side of things. This was in my mind going into the course and I was determined to do well.

"It was something I was interested in and it gave me the determination to do well"

On starting the course I didn't really know what to expect from it but I was delighted with how much I was enjoying it. The mix of football and coaching made the Sports and Recreation Award side of things a lot better as it gave us a break in between. Each module was sports related where possible and this was great as it was something I was interested in and it gave me the determination to do well and do my best in everything we did. Everyone on the course was in the same boat and we all helped each other out as much as we could. This created a great spirit among us and we have all remained close friends even after the course finished.

I was delighted when I finished the course with 7 Distinctions and 1 Merit and also my coaching badges which included Kick Start 1&2 and my Youth cert along with several other certificates including: Code of Ethics, Referees induction, Goalkeeping Intro, First Aid, Disability workshop and Volunteers workshop. I really don't think I would have got this from any other course and it really gave me great confidence and the qualifications to try and get work in this sector.

"The course really did open my eyes"

The course really did open my eyes as to what was out there in terms of jobs in the sports sector and seeing all the FAI Development Officer's etc doing their work made me think that I would be capable of doing that job myself. That is why when I was asked to stay on the course for another year as an intern, I jumped at the opportunity.

In my role as intern I have been given the responsibility of looking after the development of girls football in Dublin 15 which involves going into schools to coach young girls and promote football. I've also been involved in organising tournaments and helping out in some of the coaching programs on the course with the current students. This has given me great experience in work that I really enjoy and hope to go on and do in the future. I am now also considering taking the BA Sport and Exercise (Soccer) degree course in Carlow IT next September and this is something I never even dreamed I would do previously before joining Project FUTSAL.

I’ve told plenty of people about my involvement in the project and have nothing but good things to say about it. It is a great course and I am delighted I had the opportunity to be a part of it and would highly recommend it to anyone.