Today’s feature story for Female Football Week is focusing on Coach Developer, Shania Hedley.
Shania is a young vibrant and passionate individual who undertakes many roles in football. She’s involved in coaching, playing, and coordinating Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) Aldi MiniRoos Kick-Off For Girls sites across Newcastle.
She has recently taken on the role as a Coach Developer for NNSWF and will be delivering ALDI MiniRoos courses to local clubs over the coming months.
Shania is a valuable contributor to the growth of Female Football In Northern NSW and on behalf of NNSWF, we would like to thank her immensely for her continued work in advocating for female football opportunities.
Shania Alex Hedley
What are roles within football?
There are many ways I am involved in the football community. A lot of the work I do is through Northern NSW Football, I am heavily involved in their Miniroos for Girls program. Last year I was the centre coordinator for 3 Newcastle Centres, I am also a part of the Newcastle Jets Half Time activations where I assist the Mini Roos children. I am involved in Sporting in Schools so I get to go around to different schools and coach football. I am a coach in the Northern NSW Newcastle Skill Acquisition Program where I act as an assistant coach to all girls teams and cover when it is needed.
I am also employed by multiple other companies (Sporty Kids, Fun 4 Sports & Everything Football) where I get to coach children and be involved in things such a Newcastle Jets Learn Clinics in schools, Jets Membership clinics and other special events involving the Newcastle Jets.
How did you get involved?
When I was 13 I joined my local soccer club in Sydney to play with my best friend. I basically fell in love with the sport from then. It was when I moved to Newcastle at 14 I applied to join the Mini Roos for Girls program as a coach (back then it was Quick Kicks). I had such a great first coaching experience with 11/12-year-old girls. The following season I coached my younger brothers team at my club at the time (Merewether). Basically, from then on I slowly started to become more involved through taking further opportunities with a variety of different companies.
Which clubs are you involved with?
The majority of my football life I have spent with Merewether United Football Club, this was where I played for the last 5 years with the 2 recent seasons in their WPL squad. Merewether was also the club where I coached my first team which was an under 8 boys team. Though this year I have just signed with South Wallsend’s WPL Squad and much looking forward to a fresh start at their club.
What are your goals in football?
I honestly don’t have any specific goals, since becoming involved in football I have grown and learnt so much purely by saying yes and taking opportunities as they arise. This approach has taught me so much and has had me doing things I never thought I would be doing. I love the challenge and adventure it gives. I want to keep taking opportunities as they come up and enjoying the different avenues and places my football/coaching can take me.
How has football has influenced you?
Football has become such a massive part of my life, from my work to leisure and social. It has had such a positive influence on my overall wellbeing as I feel as though I belong to a community where we all share the same love and passion for the sport. I have met so many great people and been given so many amazing opportunities and I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Why did you choose to coach?
Ever since I was little, I loved to help and teach people. When I turned 14 I was given an opportunity to do exactly that combined with a sport I love. I instantly fell in love with being able to transfer my knowledge and skill to children so that they too can enjoy the sport. The look on a child’s face when they have mastered a new skill because of something you taught them is the most motivating and incredible feeling. Knowing that you made a difference to child’s life and hopefully encouraging them to develop a love for football.
Why do you want to be a Coach Developer?
Being a Coach Developer is one thing I never thought I’d see myself doing. Though after looking into this role more, I have seen how important coach education really is. I am very passionate about kids having fun and enjoying football and having a good knowledgeable coach is a very big factor in that. I am honestly really looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with many others.