PICTURED: Teja with her U11 Shores United SC Boys team.
Today’s feature story for rebel Female Football Week is focusing our rebel FFW Coach of the Year Award winner, Teja Claire.
Teja is a vibrant enthusiastic parent, who has taken on many roles within her club.
Teja is a valued contributor to the growth of Football In Football Far North Coast and on behalf of NNSWF, we would like to thank her immensely for her continued work in football.
Name: Teja Claire
Club: Shores United Soccer Club
Roles within Football: Coach Under 11’s boy’s team, Juniors Coach Co-ordinator, Juniors Registrations – Any other function that helps to further the success of the club and the enjoyment of the game for the kids.
How you got involved in Football and why?
I got involved in soccer because I felt strongly about my son’s team having a consistent coach, someone who could stay with them for a few years. I think consistency is important, building a team’s relationship with a coach creates stability and a progressive environment. You have a history of each player’s development and journey, and where they might need extra support. You bond with a team and that strengthens the team’s spirit. I also got involved, because I was developing a real enthusiasm for the game and was too excited to stay on the sidelines.
Within your role, what are your ultimate goals, what are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about building resilience, joy, genuine self-worth, courage, peer support and collaboration, belief in oneself and one’s abilities, intelligent reasoning skills and passion and drive in young people. I believe, for me, these objectives are best served, woven into the fabric of a vibrant little soccer team. Within the dynamics of a junior soccer team there many opportunities that present themselves as pathways to strengthen these qualities in our children. I have come to really love and appreciate this game for its spirit, it’s integrity and it’s influenced in positively affecting many aspects of a child’s development. Aside from the physical aspect of soccer and the many benefits of fitness, there are benefits I see in mental focus, reasoning, strategic processing, self-discipline, coordination, responsibility, self regulation, resilience, co-operation, pushing beyond limitations, learning to be a positive support to peers, learning to accept that we can’t always win and that’s ok, learning that striving to be our own best is always enough and is not measured in comparison to others. Last, but far from least, being a part of the exhilaration and FUN of this awesome game. Within my role as a coach, my ultimate goal is to always look for opportunities to facilitate growth in children in any of these areas that present themselves. I also just love seeing how much the kids love kicking that ball around! I would love to see the game and all its benefits opened up more to young girls. This is an amazing sport for both boys and girls! It’s been great to feel all the support from FFNC and the energy going towards building more girl’s soccer teams in clubs. I would like to also be a part of furthering girl’s participation in soccer. This season we will have two All Girls Soccer Teams at Shores United, one in a new Under 6’s team, and another in the Under 10’s.
How has football influenced you?
Being on a field with my team honestly makes me really happy.
I love the fresh air, the smell of the grass, going through skills with the boys and jumping in and having a fun game with them at the end of practice.
I love children’s energy, exuberance and creativity. I get to be a kid again and see the world through their eyes. I feel deeply connected to that freedom and possibility that things can be however we dream them.
When I know I’ve contributed support or a little magic to their world, I feel fulfilled by helping to keep that alive in them. Soccer has opened up this path, allowing me to offer something of myself that is in line with my truest values. My involvement with soccer has gifted me a lovely social network of other parents who are all good friends of mine now. Also a network of fellow volunteers; like-minded, passionate, vibrant, ideas and actions orientated people!
Best football moment?
Taking my team last year to the Ballina Soccer Gala Day, it was something new and exciting for them, they were so animated, running around checking the schedule for where they had to be next and who they were playing. It was a real confidence building day for the team, as they had to play against a couple of teams who were mostly a grade older than them and they won one game and drew another. They all got participation medals at the end of the day and were well and truly chuffed with themselves!
What would you tell someone thinking of getting involved with football?
Do it! For all the above reasons. It’s such a worthwhile and valuable way to spend your time, or encourage your child to spend their time. The best game ever!