Gabi: “I thought it might be difficult being one of few girls on the team – but everyone is treated exactly the same.”

To celebrate our 10 year anniversary we are going to look back at 10 people (counting down one a month) whose lives have changed through the power of sport and the EFL Trust’s network.

To mark International Women’s Day 2018, EFL Trust have highlighted the efforts of motivated teenager Gabrielle Richardson, who has ambitions of becoming a full-time PE teacher.

Gabrielle, who is a current student on the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme with Mansfield Town in the Community, says the support she has received from the club on her education pathway has been second to none.

After undertaking her GCSE’s and not getting the grades she had initially hoped for, the 16-year-old was unsure of what route to take next.

However an opportunity to go on the Traineeship programme with Mansfield Town helped to set her on a career pathway.

The EFL Trust Traineeship programme is designed to help those struggling academically to gain work experience and learn new skills based at a professional football club.

For 3 months, students spend 3 days a week shadowing professional members of club staff and community football coaches whilst obtaining valuable insight into working in the variety of opportunities in sport and leisure.

It was during her time as a trainee when Gabrielle realised her career aspiration – to become a full-time PE teacher.

She commented: “The Traineeship programme was brilliant for me and the staff at the club have been so supportive from day one.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to coach young children the most. It’s so fulfilling as I was in their position once and to pass on your knowledge and experience is the best.

“Coaching and inspiring young people has made me realise I would really love to one day become a PE teacher.’’

After completing the Traineeship, Gabrielle enjoyed her time with Mansfield Town that much, she continued onto the club’s BTEC Futsal and Education Programme.

Gabrielle is one of three females out of 13 students on the programme and admits she felt a little reluctant about this at first.

She continued: “At first, I thought it might be quite difficult being one of few girls on the team, but it’s never been an issue.

“You see no difference in training and the lads really accepted us from day one – we’re all treated exactly the same.

“I would highly recommend the Futsal and Education Programme to anyone.’’

Looking forward, as well as achieving the results she wants, Gabrielle is also hoping to become a female role model at a local school next year, working alongside the school’s female football development coach.

Elizabeth Regan, Education Officer at Mansfield Town in the Community, has been supporting Gabrielle throughout her time as a trainee and on the Futsal programme.

Elizabeth commented: “When Gabrielle first started with us, she was very quiet and wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do.

“It was clear from day one that she is very pro-active in getting involved with everything and is brilliant at coaching the young children, she is a fantastic female role model.

“She has really developed her confidence and I have no doubt that if she continues to work hard, she would one day make a fantastic PE teacher.’’

To find out more about the EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme visit:


International Women’s Day – 8th March

March 8 sees the annual International Women’s Day campaign kick-off for the year ahead, with this year’s theme focusing around #PressforProgress.

Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. A strong call to #PressforProgress. A strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

International Women’s Day is not country, group or organisation specific. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. So together, let’s all be tenacious in accelerating gender parity. Collectively, let’s all Press for Progress.

To find out more visit: