Communities

PL Kicks Cup making dreams come true

8 Apr 2019
CC

Leicester City Community Trust coach Zahra Zahid explains how Premier League Kicks helped her realise her ambition

More than 700 young people, representing 65 professional football clubs, will leave their local communities to meet people from many different backgrounds today at University of Warwick in the Premier League Kicks Cup.

Zahra Zahid knows what the day will mean. The Leicester City Community Trust PL Kicks coach featured for the Foxes at the 2015 tournament as a 16-year-old.

"The PL Kicks Cup is an amazing opportunity," she says. "It's something to be very proud of for anyone that goes out there.

"It gives you that new experience.

"It's those kinds of big opportunities that contribute towards developing someone. It has made my dreams come true."

Zahra was born in Zimbabwe and arrived in the United Kingdom unable to speak English well. So making friends was a challenge, as was finding a place to play football.

But that changed when Leicester City brought Premier League Kicks sessions to her school.

Confidence boost

"Coming to Kicks allowed me to meet other people who shared my passion for football and we have become very good friends," she says.

"Kicks helped me to improve my communication, it gave me more confidence that I could use in life away from football."

Zahra has been a PL Kicks regular since 2014 and the programme has also allowed her to develop her career in the game.

At the start of the year Zahra completed her coaching badges and since February she has been working as a PL Kicks coach, a role she hopes will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

"Growing up in this neighbourhood, there weren't many role models, especially being a girl," she says. "I want to be that girl and have other girls in the community look up to me."

Also in this series

Part 2: How Fulham are inspiring young people in London
Part 3: Watford and Swansea triumph at PL Kicks Cup
Part 4: In pictures: PL Kicks Cup 2019
Part 5: Team spirit key to Swansea's Kicks success

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